Sep 13 2015

EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION no. 24

The RCN produces a special issue of Emancipation & Liberation (no. 24) for the launch of RISE – Scotland’s Left alliance on Saturday, August 29th in Glasgow. Below are the first three articles which were specially written for this issue.

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1. THE SCOTTISH LEFT PROJECT –
COMPLETING SCOTLAND’S DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION

Starting a new political organisation, aimed at uniting the Left, is always a difficult process. Furthermore, the Scottish Left has still to fully recover from the last attempt to do this – the Scottish Socialist Party. The SSP imploded in 2004, just a year after registering real promise with the election of 6 MSPs – 4 women and 2 men – in 2003.

It is worth remembering that, back then, the SSP made its advance at the expense of both the Labour Party and the SNP. Just weeks before ‘Tommygate’, the SSP initiated the very successful and overtly republican ‘Declaration of Calton Hill’, at a well supported demonstration protesting against the royal opening of the new Holyrood parliament building, on 9th October, 2004.

Yet there were already political divisions emerging in the SSP over whether it saw itself as a Left pressure group upon the SNP, with a perspective of gaining political leverage by offering its MSPs as support for a future minority SNP administration; or whether it should develop as an independent class party, with the republican and socialist perspective of taking the leadership of the campaign for genuine Scottish self-determination from the SNP.

Today, in the aftermath of the SNP’s crushing electoral victory, winning 56 out of 59 Scottish seats at Westminster on May 7th this year; it is harder to imagine the Scottish Left getting itself into its promising position of 2003.

However RISE has real potential. It doesn’t just represent another attempt to reconfigure the existing Left, but comes directly from Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’. This followed the huge mobilisation that took place during the Scottish referendum campaign. Politics were taken out into housing schemes, and to small town and village halls throughout Scotland. People began to look elsewhere, other than the hostile BBC and unionist press, and to actively participate in the new independent media. When official cultural bodies like the Edinburgh Festival decided, in 2014, that the issue of Scottish self-determination was a taboo subject, this snub merely acted as a spur for many cultural initiatives, throughout the length and breadth of Scotland.

The impact of Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’ can be seen in the 97% voter registration and the 85% who actually voted on September 18th. Autonomous campaigns, such as the National Collective, Women for Independence and the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) drew together socialists, radical nationalists, radical greens, feminists, movementists and others, in a very vibrant campaign, well beyond the control of the SNP’s official ‘Yes’ campaign.

RIC took the initiative, which others followed, by extending voter registration to city housing schemes long abandoned by Labour. RIC also attracted supporters from Ireland, Wales, England, Catalunya, Euskadi, Greece, Spain and took its campaign to these countries. The essence of RIC is not Scottish nationalist but Scottish internationalist, believing not only that, ‘Another Scotland Is Possible’, but that ‘Another World Is Possible’.

However, despite the defiant and widespread anger amongst ‘Yes’ voters after September 18th, it was the SNP that was able to hoover up the overwhelming majority of active campaigners. This ability was greatly assisted by the earlier collapse of the SSP as the party uniting the Left in Scotland.

Yet, it is quite clear that RIC made a really significant contribution to Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’, something registered in the British Electoral Survey, which found that 14.5% of Scots, compared to 9.8% of English are in the “most Left category”. Jonathon Shafi (RIC and RISE) has explained this. “The referendum opened up a political space which was outside the formal parameters of mainstream politics and people genuinely felt empowered’ (The Herald, 3.8.15).

The British ruing class realised the significance of the challenge facing them. Their overriding aim has been to roll-back this ‘democratic revolution’. Panicked by the drift of potential voters towards ‘Yes’, Gordon Brown had ‘promised’ a new federal UK, if people only voted ‘No’. Once a ‘No’ vote was achieved, Cameron appointed that safe establishment figure, Lord Smith of Kelvin, to ditch this ‘promise’ and to dramatically lower political sights. His Commission ditched not only the federal ‘promise’, but also ‘Devo-Max’ and opted for a minimal ‘Devo-Plus’. When the Commission reported, it was met by the then Cameron/Clegg government’s official response. This watered Smith down even further, with the assistance of the Miliband-led Labour ‘opposition’, and their new right wing Scottish leader, Jim Murphy.

The SNP leadership entered the 2015 Westminster election campaign with the immediate strategy of propping up an anticipated Miliband Labour minority government, in exchange for ‘Devo-Max’. In Scotland, the SNP’s electoral success was beyond their wildest dreams. Elsewhere in the UK, Miliband’s capitulation before the Tories and UKIP ensured a conservative unionist surge in England and Wales. Meanwhile reactionary unionism advanced in Northern Ireland. The SNP leadership’s strategy stymied, their hopes are now pinned on a reformed Labour party under possible new leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Yet, only 47 of Labour’s 232 MPs joined ‘Jez’ in voting against Tory austerity!

The SNP’s 56 MPs have become the Westminster opposition. Under Harriet Harman, Labour has continued its policy of ‘Better Together’ with the Tories, rather than join with the SNP to defend even their own very limited record of opposition. Nevertheless, neither opposition to the Tories’ stepped-up austerity offensive, nor meaningful advances towards greater Scottish self-determination, can be achieved within the Westminster prison.

During the referendum campaign, growing numbers of people lost faith in such state institutions as the BBC, and also in many aspects of the Westminster set-up. However, they were only given the merest hint of the full panoply of anti-democratic forces the British ruling class has in reserve, shielded from any democratic scrutiny by the UK state’s Crown Powers. Cameron was recently forced to reveal one of these. He told Westminster that British military forces had been active in Syria, despite a parliamentary vote against this last year!

Therefore the immediate aim of RISE should be to reinvigorate Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’. This will mean challenging not only the conservative and reactionary unionism, represented by the Tories (with Labour and the Lib-Dems) and UKIP (with the Ulster unionists and loyalists) but an SNP which sees its mandate coming from holding office within Westminster and its devolved institutions.

If a ‘Yes’ vote had been won last September, the SNP government wanted to bring MSPs from the three unionist parties into their Scottish team to negotiate with the Tory/Lib-Dem government over their ‘Independence-Lite’ proposals. These proposals already accepted the monarchy (hence the long reach of the UK state’s Crown Powers), sterling (hence economic control by the City of London) and the British High Command and NATO (hence continued participation in US/UK imperial wars).

Syriza found the Troika an impossible nut to crack, even without bringing Greek bankers into their negotiating team! EU sovereignty effectively lies with a European bankers’ cartel. Equally, an SNP government which accepts the UK’s anti-democratic principle of the sovereignty of the Crown-in-Parliament, and is pledged to maintain the current global order and the rUK, would soon have found their already compromised proposals ridiculed and further diluted by the UK state and unionist parties.

In contrast, RIC saw any ‘Yes’ vote as an exercise in the republican principle of the sovereignty of the people. RIC was prepared to organise a popular movement mobilising those whose political consciousness had been raised in the many autonomous ‘Yes’ campaigns.

Without RIC or Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’, it is unlikely that RISE would exist. RIC is a movement that has united disparate radical political forces for particular purposes. However, RISE is a distinct political project, which should seek neither to replace RIC nor to control it. Instead, by becoming the most consistent advocates of political, economic, social and cultural struggle, and linking with others on the basis of ‘internationalism from below’, RISE should attempt to win political support for continuing the ‘democratic revolution’.

Where the SNP leadership look to British Labour in Westminster to advance their current liberal unionist strategy, RISE should seek support in England, Wales and Ireland. The ongoing Irish water charges campaign and the recent stunning victory in the gay marriage referendum, both mobilising beyond the parliamentary confines, points to our need for an all-islands vision.

RISE  must have a democratic culture. The RCN certainly do not have all the answers, and we are happy to test our ideas against those with a different perspective. And, just as we have learned much from those autonomous organisations, which became involved in the Scottish independence referendum, so we look forward to working in a political organisation, where different experiences can contribute to a new shared higher level of understanding and activity.

Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’ can not be realised within Westminster’s anti-democratic prison house, nor by ‘Yes’ supporters becoming passive cheerleaders for 56 SNP MSP’s. The RCN does not see RISE as being merely an electoral alliance, nor a pressure group upon the SNP. We will campaign for RISE  to become a new party to take the lead in the battle for genuine Scottish self-determination. In the face of global capital’s multi-facetted crises, a shared struggle for democracy is the best school of learning for the creation of the new world we so desperately need.

Allan Armstrong (RCN)

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2. INTERNAL DEMOCRACY IS NOT A LUXURY

This article was written to encourage thought and debate about internal democracy within RISE, while there is nothing groundbreaking within the article and undoubtedly everything said in it has been said before. I strongly believe that the type of points I have made need to be made time and time again by enough of us before they will be implemented. Once these types of issues are agreed on and policy and procedures put in place, it is then our collective responsibility to hold each other to account. I look forward to hearing from others on this topic.

I welcome the launch of RISE and am enthusiastic as at the moment, it feels like it has the potential to become the type of mass Socialist organisation that we need as a class to challenge capitalism, take control over our lives and plan and implement the type of society that we want to live in. I feel that we all need to have a conversation about the type of organisation we think that we need and also about the best ways of building that organisation. Personally I think that it is essential that we build an organisation that goes well beyond an alliance that focuses solely on an electoral agenda.

There are many things which need to be discussed and I look forward to the discussions. At the moment, I feel that our priority should be focusing on internal democracy and ensuring that we have a constituted structure which is fit for a grass roots lead organisation and allows us all to have our say in the way which our organisation is built.

The Scottish Left Project’s opening statement states that RISE will be based on the principle of participatory democracy, it also mentions creating a citizens politics and having the widest possible discussion about how we can work together. “Together we can change Scotland,” the document released to announce that the policy primaries were to take place, mentions some of the project’s shared values as being grass roots democracy and collectivism, it goes on to mention that “democracy has become the dominant principle of subversive, anti-capitalist politics.

The fact that these principles and values have been mentioned and that policy primaries have been organised is definitely a positive start, but it is a start that now has to be built upon by all of us who agree that there is a need for democracy. In order to insure that we achieve the goal of a truly democratic organisation, we all must push for decisions to be made democratically every step of the way.

There is obviously a huge gulf in what different people mean when they use the term “democratic.” I do not believe that an organisation can be legitimately thought of as democratic if discussion and decision making do not take place in safe and accessible spaces, it is especially important that the people who are the most marginalised, exploited, oppressed and discriminated against in our current society consider these spaces to be safe and accessible.

I think that we need to come together and develop policy which ensures that debate is conducted in a comradely manner, that behaviour towards each other is appropriate and that participation is realistic for those who may have otherwise been excluded. It is also essential that we be prepared for inappropriate, unacceptable and unpleasant situations arising and have robust procedures in place to deal with individuals involved. When topics such as this are discussed, it is sometimes suggested that having such policies and procedures is authoritarian, I would suggest that when the policies and procedures are collectively agreed and designed to maximise safe participation, then having them is highly democratic.

When looking at creating a democratic structure it seems really important that we aim to carry on making as many decisions in direct and participatory manners as possible. This will undoubtedly take longer than all decisions being taken for example by a small central committee, but principled democracy will also strengthen the organisation and keep people engaged. There will be those who disagree and say this will result in endless discussions. I am not suggesting that we have endless discussions, I am suggesting that we have the discussions needed to ensure that our organisation is fit for purpose.

It is clear that it is not practical for us all to have a direct vote on every decision that has to be made. Tasks will have to be mandated to individuals or groups, as long as we have procedures which ensure there is transparency, accountability and features to limit individuals from amassing undue influence within the organisation then this should not be a problem. An effective way of maintaining democracy would be that all positions and tasks are carried out by recallable delegates with very specific and time sensitive mandates.

Once membership is established, it is necessary that we have a constituted democratic structure for reasons which I have mentioned among many others. Precedent has been set by the way in which we are deciding electoral policy at the moment. I do not see any reason why we can’t take what we learn from carrying out policy primaries and use what we learn to carry out a similar process amongst the established membership to construct a grass roots drafted constitution. This process could be seen as a precursor to a policy which many are suggesting is implemented, a peoples constitution for a Scottish Republic.

The issue of Democracy is an issue which could make or break RISE. It is an issue of credibility. We can’t be seen as credible or principled if we just go through the motions with regards to the principle of participatory democracy as mentioned in the opening statement, it would be too easy to just do the minimum here and people would see through it.

We can’t credibly campaign for democratic public ownership of industry if we can’t even show ourselves as being capable of building a functioning democratically run organisation. Similarly it would not be credible to campaign for a Republic in which the people are sovereign if we are not able to create an organisation in which the members are sovereign.

Bringing power to the people and ensuring that direct democracy is brought into the heart of how Scotland works are mentioned in the opening statement, It will be difficult to look people in the eye and tell them we are trying to do bring power to the people if the grass roots don’t have power within the organisation, it will be even more difficult to suggest we want to implement direct democracy in relation to the way Scotland is governed if we haven’t managed direct democracy internally.

It is also mentioned in the opening statement that “The days of a professional political class running our lives are numbered.” This statement will end up as absolutely meaningless if we end up as an organisation which is run by a wannabe professional political class.

I believe that there is an appetite for democracy among those currently interested in RISE at the moment, with a lot of hard work, we will be able to build the sort of organisation which will attract others. Although it was disheartening to watch the SNP ingest much of the progressive forces within the Yes movement, it is plain to see that many of them are becoming disheartened due to the lack of internal democracy.

There are now many people who are leaving the SNP who identify as Socialists. A display of internal democracy is the bridge that is needed to attract these individuals to RISE. Similarly there are a lot of ex Labour members out there and also others on the left who have never joined a party who also may be attracted by what we have on offer. They should all be welcomed providing that they agree with our core socialist and democratic principles.

Ian MacCorquodale (RCN)

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3. WHY A REPUBLICAN PERSPECTIVE IS IMPORTANT

We are living in time of great change. The situation in Greece, the Indy result, the near wipe out in Scotland of established UK parties and the anticipated Holyrood victory for the SNP next May highlight great instability between the people and the powerful. Where there is opportunity there is also danger. The SNP are pro capitalist, pro monarchy, pro NATO. That they are the beneficiaries of popular anger toward Westminster and austerity is a clarion call to the current fragmented left.

The Republican Communist Network supports, and is active in, developing the Scottish Left Project and now RISE. I n that spirit, we offer the following perspective.

The Scottish Left Project paper, “Together We Can Change Scotland”, has the slogan, ‘Our Scotland, Our Republic’. In this article we hope to explore some of the issues that make this slogan relevant and significant.

For us, Republicanism is at the heart of any democratic revolution. To have a republican perspective is to put the ‘sovereignty of the people’ as the founding principle of any democratic structure. This democratic struggle is called republicanism in the UK because it highlights that we live in an undemocratic, constitutional monarchy.

Others may think republicanism equates only with the opposition to the monarchy and, moreover, since our monarchy is largely symbolic, why bother when there are more pressing issues such as austerity and the democratic struggle for self determination.

In the first instance, our monarchy is a very real, well hidden from view, power structure. The pomp and circumstance is for public consumption whilst the business of government by the unelected, unaccountable and the unseen goes on in alliance with parliamentary collusion.

Secondly, putting the principle of the sovereignty of the people into practice goes well beyond merely abolishing any monarchy; it is concerned with control, at the lowest feasible local level, of all aspects of our life – the political, the economic, the environmental and the cultural.

Returning briefly to the monarchy itself, senior royals can refuse Royal Assent to parliamentary bills (usually only the threat of this is needed and committees will alter the bill in advance of a vote in parliament). The Guardian report of 15 Jan 2014 exposed numerous examples of where the royals being ‘consulted’ in this way. This is in addition to the revelation in 2013 that prince Charlie alone had had 36 private meetings with government ministers since 2010. That’s about one a month!

But perhaps the most anti-democratic feature is the operation of the Privy Council. This unelected, 500 member body comprising of representatives of the military, the established church, peers, and the city of London, as well as leaders of the main parliamentary parties, meets monthly and exercises real power. It only needs a quorum of 3, i.e. the monarch and 2 others.

More serious even than that, it can and does act independently of parliament and even the courts. It has authorised the continuation of phone tapping, justified the use of illegal interrogation techniques (torture) within the UK and NI during the 70’s and in the late 1960’s the inhabitants of the UK controlled Diego Garcia Islands were forcibly removed to make way for a US military base. Twice over the next three decades UK courts declared this illegal and twice the Privy Council overturned the ruling. Not even parliament can overturn a high court ruling without changing the law itself. The Privy Council has the power to ignore the law and that deeply anti-democratic power will be used against us if we retain the ‘constitutional’ monarchy, the crown in parliament.

This is a major issue with the SNP. It is not just that they turn a blind eye to this, they are complicit in the system. The leader of the SNP in Westminster has always been a member of this Privy Council. They know exactly how hollow ‘Independence under the Crown’ really would be.

Suppose the monarchy were abolished tomorrow, would that give us full control over our lives? What would happen to the Privy Council and the panoply of crown powers?

Would we, for example, have control over the land, how it is used and the wealth that is generated from it? No, because ownership derives mainly from the feudal past with capitalist acquisition grafted on. Fewer than 500 people own around two thirds of Scotland’s territory, control it’s use and appropriate the wealth that derives from it. If we decide to replace the idea of private ownership with that of public custodianship and further state that decisions about land use will be made at local level then we open up the potential for development of Scotland’s vast tracts of land that could reverse the continuing rural population decline and expand the economic growth.

The idea of sovereignty of the people extends to many aspects of our lives. If we, not parliament in Holyrood, are to be sovereign, then parliament must be restructured to allow this. One idea is that elected representatives should be subject to recall where they break their mandate or ignore the wishes of the people. In other words, politicians need to be accountable, not once in five years, but in the here and now. Can you imagine MPs being so willing to follow Blair like sheep and vote us into an illegal, unpopular war if, the next day, hundreds of constituency assemblies began moves to have their MP recalled and perhaps dismissed?

Another idea is that of ‘workers’ representative on a workers’ wage’ i.e. that our representatives receive the average wage of skilled workers. This discourages those who are only in it for the money, and encourages our representatives to rise with our class rather than out of it. Further, should we consider a limit to the number of terms an MSP can serve? Is a long term, career driven political elite the only alternative to a monarchy?

Republicanism in the workplace or trade union means spreading action outwards and upwards from the origin of the conflict or from its most militant site. Industrial republicanism recognises the sovereignty of the members in their workplaces and branches, and not the sovereignty of the Union head office or full-time officials.

In short, republicanism is putting the ‘sovereignty of the people’ into action in the here and now. Republicanism in action is about releasing the latent power of the people, and it means recognising the legitimacy of democratically agreed, direct action taken by ourselves at whatever level. Republicanism challenges not just the ruling class but also their knowing collaborators in and out of parliament (e.g., trade union bureaucracies).

Also, for a republican, housing, food production, environmental protection and transport should likewise be democratised. It is not that republicanism is an alternative to socialism; rather, under the crushing force of so called, “constitutional monarchy”, republicanism is really the only viable method of moving toward socialism.

The real question is about who has the sovereign power – the people or the ruling class in alliance with the crown powers of the monarchy? Socialists see republicanism today as directly linked to the struggle for the socialist republic tomorrow. It helps us develop a strategy and tactics to directly oppose today’s oppressors and exploiters. To declare for the democratic republic is to declare war against the existing bourgeois state. It is central to our struggle for emancipation and liberation.

Making our own organisations democratic

Republicanism is fundamentally about the highest form of democracy: that is, democratic control held by the basic units of the society – workplaces and effective networks within communities. Elected representatives must always be accountable and subject to recall and dismissal. As previously suggested, where they are paid, they should receive no more than the average wage of skilled workers. This is a vital weapon against careerism and will help eliminate those powerful forces that drive a wedge between the elected and the electorate, the union member and the full timer.

It is imperative that socialists lead the struggle within society to extend thoroughgoing democracy to all areas of our lives. To achieve this it is absolutely essential that our own organisations are democratic. This must include trade unions and socialist parties.

The Republican Communist Network stresses the importance of republicanism and a democratic constitution within our own class organisations, because we recognise this as the most effective method of decision making, i.e. it creates the best framework for the most open and democratic debate which in turn maximises our ability to produce correct answers to problems we face. It facilitates collective decision making through mutual education and discussion. An active, living democracy allows us to harness the creativity of the membership and honestly reflect on the results of our practice and to quickly amend it in the light of this learning.

Whatever the final form of RISE, it should be a role model for that better society we yearn to see. The republican call for the sovereignty of the people should be mirrored by an organisation based on the sovereignty of the members in all aspects of the organisation – decision making, policy formulation and selection of office bearers and elected representatives. Many groups, trade unions and Parties claim ‘ownership by the membership’ but are, in reality, controlled by an inner elite protected by a rule book and constitution that they largely framed.

There is an opportunity to create an organisation that rejects that outdated framework, based as it is on, “We know best, better than the membership”. There is an opportunity here to say, “There is no ‘we’, there is a multi-faceted membership and an inclusive organisation that facilitates debate and discussion within the membership”.

The RCN is not naive. Of course there is necessarily a ‘we’ or an ‘us’ that seeks to launch RISE. The issue here is, do those of us involved in this venture want to promote a ‘we first forever’ model or, instead, adopt the ‘sovereignty of the members’ model?

Iain Robertson and Bob Goupillot (RCN)

Unfortunately a garbled version of another article appeared  in the magazine. Here is the proper version which first appeared on our website at: 

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/05/28/support-the-struggle-for-meaningful-self-determination-in-a-scottish-democratic-and-secular-republic/

SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE FOR MEANINGFUL SELF-DETERMINATION

IN A SCOTTISH DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR REPUBLIC

Democracy

The SNP currently only supports the ending of Westminster control over law making in Scotland, and continues to support the wider UK and the British monarchy. We call for:
* The break-up of the UK and opposition to the Crown Powers

The Constitution

The SNP government says they will enter into negotiations with the UK government, alongside MSPs from the Scottish unionist parties, about a constitutional framework for Scotland. We call for:

* No secret negotiations with the UK state over Scottish self-determination

* The election of a Scottish Constituent Assembly to decide its own constitution and
relationships with other states

* A Scottish Democratic, Social and Secular Republic

* A Single Chamber Assembly elected by proportional representation

Local democracy

The SNP has no proposals to increase local democracy. We call for:

* The maximum autonomy of Local Authorities, supported by nationally provided resources to ensure equality of service provision

* Support for increased communal ownership of land and economic facilities to encourage diversified local development

International

The SNP wants to remain part of NATO and the current unreformed EU. We call for:

* The ending Scottish participation in the British Military High Command

* A Break with NATO

*The closure of Faslane and other nuclear military facilities in Scotland

*The return of all Scottish armed forces deployed outside Scotland

*The ending of the bureaucratic, bankers and corporate EU and the creation of a new democratic federal Europe with entrenched workers’ rights

Workers’ rights

The SNP has no policy to restore trade union rights removed under the Tories and continued under New Labour. We call for:-

* The scrapping the Anti-Trade Union Laws – Workers in all workplaces to have the right to organise, negotiate and have elected representatives on workplace councils

* A legal ban on blacklisting by employers

Migrant worker and asylum seeker rights

The SNP has a better record than the unionist parties, Labour included, in wanting migrant workers in Scotland. However, their vision is based on meeting business labour requirements and increasing the tax intake to finance an ageing population, not meeting migrant workers’ and asylum seekers’ needs. We call for:

* The end of the criminalization of migrant workers and asylum seekers

* The speedy processing of asylum seekers

* The closure of Dungavel detention centre

* The right of asylum seekers to work

* Rapid naturalization procedures for all those wishing to become a citizen of Scotland

Women’s rights

The SNP calls for improved nursery provision. We call for:

* Guaranteed free nursery provision for all those who require it

* Equal pay through upward assimilation

* Support for a Woman’s Right to Choose

* Public provision of Women’s Refuges and Rape Crisis Centres on the grounds of need

Economy

The SNP calls for lower taxation on corporate business and the retention of sterling. We call for:

*The end the City of London’s control over finance in Scotland

*No public liability for private banks

*For the creation of a publicly owned bank, with deposits guaranteed

*For the provision of banking and Credit Union facilities in publicly owned Post Offices

*The Crown Estates to be transferred to public ownership

Energy

The SNP commitment to green energy is good but the policies to achieve this, under a
capitalist framework, won’t deliver. We call for:

*An integrated public provision of energy

*Scrap the subsidies and tax breaks for private energy suppliers

*For public research and experimental projects to help moved towards less environmentally damaging energy provision

Welfare

The SNP currently call for the abolition of the ‘bedroom tax’ and a minimum wage tied to the cost of living index, we need to go well beyond this. We call for:

*Public welfare provision on the grounds of need

*The right to appropriate housing built to proper building standards

Education

The SNP remains committed to no fees for university education. We call for:

* Free educational provision from Nursery to Higher levels

* For complete separation between the state and religion

* Support for secular education, no state backing for religious schools

The bottom line is that ‘independence’ is a pretty empty and meaningless word. It is self determination allied to democratic controls that can unlock the potential of the Scottish people and, by their example, unlock the potential of all the peoples of these islands.

 

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Other articles already posted on the Emancipation & Liberation blog:-

LET THEM IN by Mary McGregor (RCN)

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/09/04/let-them-in/

THE RCN AND RISE by RCN

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/08/12/the-rcn-and-the-scottish-left-project/

FREE STEVE KACZINSKI by RCN

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/08/07/free-steve-kaczynski/

THE LIMITS OF REFORMISM AND THE GREEK CRISIS by Eric Chester (RCN)

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

LBGT RIGHTS IN IRELAND – A BEACON FOR US ALL by Socialist Democracy (Ireland)

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/06/05/lbgt-rights-in-ireland-a-beacon-of-liberation-for-us-all/

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