Feb 20 2019

THE CONTINUING BREXIT CRISIS

The National Forum of the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) held on June 30th  agreed to take up the issue of a Ratification referendum over Theresa May’s Brexit Proposals (http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-case-for-eu-ratification-referendum.html). A letter advocating this course of action was published in The National on  24.7.19. In his new letter published in The National on Sunday on 17.2.19, Allan Armstrong argues that the time for this has now passed. He advocates a different course of action needed to meet the current political situation.

A ratification referendum could unite those in RIC who supported a Remain vote, and those who supported a Leave vote. The crisis over Brexit has brought about a new situation where Lexiters and Left Remainers have different views of the way to move forward.  RIC has continued to organise discussions,  where both sides could put their case. Cat Boyd  put the case for a new Lexit campaign in her letter to The National on 18.11.19, to which Allan wrote a reply 0n 27.11.19. 

(http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.com/2018/12/where-now-for-brexit.html)

Allan’s new letter to the National on Sunday is also written from the perspective of a critical Remainer.

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And ALL includes EU residents and 16-18 year olds denied the vote last time

LETTER TO THE NATIONAL ON SUNDAY, 17.2.19

In all the bourach surrounding Brexit at Westminster, no particular alternative commanding majority support has yet come forward. Last year The National published a letter I had written suggesting that Holyrood organise a ratification referendum over Mays’s proposed Brexit deal (24.7.18). The Scottish people have already voted decisively to reject Brexit, so there is no need to re-run the original 2016 Leave/Remain referendum. One of the most important things about a Holyrood organised referendum is that it could have included all those EU residents and 16-18 year olds included in IndyRef1. An additional benefit of a Holyrood run a ratification referendum is that it would have given focus to the Scottish independence campaign at a time when May had put the shutters up on any IndyRef2.

Given the Tories’ continued resort to all the most anti-democratic powers given to the government under the Crown-in-Westminster set-up, it is unlikely that May would then have conceded some separate Scottish deal. Separate deals are only made for those who want to reinforce all the most reactionary aspects of the Union, like the DUP in Northern Ireland. However, it would have forced the smug Scottish Tories to defend their constant Brexit U-turns. But more importantly, by organising a referendum that included those excluded in 2016, this would have shone a spotlight on the profoundly anti-democratic way by which the Right’s Brexit vote victory was achieved. And given that the Cameron government was responsible for agreeing the franchise criteria in both the IndyRrf1 and the EU membership referenda, it would also have shown up the Tories’ hypocrisy.

The time has now run out for any ratification referendum in Scotland, and the possibility of supporting so-called Peoples Vote has attracted SNP MP’s support. To allow a rerun of the original EU referendum is to invite trouble. The people most affected by any Brexit are EU residents and 16-18 year olds. Their voice needs to be heard, as May and Corbyn manouevre to introduce a new gastarbeiter system of labour control in the new Immigration Bill. We have had to fight a series of defensive battles to stop the Home Office deporting people from Scotland. Our most recent success, supported by SNP MPs, has been the case of Iranian born Rezvan Habibimarand and Mozaffar Saberi.

However, instead of mounting a series of rearguard actions to defend people the UK state deems not to be British subjects, we need to start by including EU residents (and 16-18year olds) as part of our people. Therefore, if a People’s Vote proposal is placed before Westminster,  it should only be backed by SNP MPs, following an amendment restoring the franchise arrangements made or IndyRef1.

 

Allan Armstrong, 15.2.19

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and for an earlier response written immediately after the Brexit vote see:-

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

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Feb 19 2019

FROM BLATCHERISM TO MAYBYNISM

Below is a synopsis of Allan Armstrong’s new pamphlet  From Blatcherism to Maybynsism. Chapter 6, Scotland – from ‘Project Hope’ to ‘Project Hate’and from ‘Better Together’ to ‘Bitter Together’ can be seen in the bella caledonia blog at:- 

https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2019/02/19/from-project-fear-to-project-hate-from-better-together-to-bitter-together/

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FROM BLATCHERISM TO MAYBYNISM

THE CONTINUING SHIFT TO THE RIGHT
IN THE TRANSITION FROM
NEO-LIBERALISM TO NATIONAL POPULISM

 

Allan Armstrong presents a case that the world is leaving the period of neo-liberal domination and entering a period of national populist domination. This is analogous to the earlier move from post-Second World War social democratic domination, which ended in 1979/80. He emphasises the role of the 2008 Crash in dividing the UK and US ruling classes. This had led to the rapid growth of national populist politics in these and other states. The Right’s winning of the Brexit vote and then the election of Trump (‘Brexit, plus, plus, plus’) has performed a similar role in the transition from neo-liberalist domination to national populist domination that the election of Thatcher and Reagan had played in the earlier transition. Continue reading “FROM BLATCHERISM TO MAYBYNISM”

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Feb 19 2019

BREXIT AND WHAT IT MEANS IN IRELAND

The E&L blog  has been reporting the situation in Ireland since we started up. However, during  current Brexit negotiations , the  ‘backstop’ has pushed the issue of Northern Ireland to the fore. We are publishing two articles which share a lot in common in their analysis of Ireland, but which offer differing perspectives on the role of the EU. The first is written by David Jamieson and fappeared on the Commonspace blog. The second is written by Allan Armstrong and forms the seventh chapter of his new pamphlet From Blatcherism to Maybynism.

 

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  1. ANALYSIS – MICRO-POLITICS ISN’T ENOUGH – WE MUST ADDRESS

THE  PARTITION OF IRELAND

 

Debates around the UK border in Ireland and the so called ‘backstop’ bring the crisis elements of the British state into sharper focus. Continue reading “BREXIT AND WHAT IT MEANS IN IRELAND”

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Feb 15 2019

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE IMMIGRATION BILL?

On January 29th members of the Right and the Left of the Labour Party were allowed by Jeremy Corbyn to allow Theresa May’s government to get the first stages of the Tory government’s new Immigration Bill through Westminster. This paves the way for a post-Brexit gastarbeiter-type system of controls over worker migration. We are reposting an article from Global Justice Now which explains the intention behind this bill.

 

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE IMMIGRATION BILL?

 

The Immigration Bill threatens  in the UK to the ‘hostile environment’ for migrants. The hostile environment, the brainchild of Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, seeks to make life unbearable for people without the ‘correct’ immigration papers, and turns teachers, doctors, landlords and employers into border guards. This has already had a devastating effect on thousands of people, but the Immigration Bill does nothing to fix the hostile environment and instead will expose millions more people to it. Continue reading “WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE IMMIGRATION BILL?”

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Feb 08 2019

A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BRIAN HIGGINS, BLACKLISTED BUILDING WORKER

 

A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BRIAN HIGGINS, BLACKLISTED BUILDING WORKER

Photo showing Brian Higgins on a picket at the furthest left – where else!

 

Brian Higgins, a militant in the building industry, first in UCATT and later in UNITE, has been taken into hospital. Brian has been the most blacklisted worker in the UK. For many years before he would have retired, he was unable to get work. This put immense pressure both on Brian and his family, particularly his ever-supportive wife, Helen. Following the public exposure of the blacklist in the building industry, Brian found strong evidence of collaboration between the employers and a UCATT official in his blacklisting. That official cited in a redacted document was Jerry Swain. Continue reading “A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BRIAN HIGGINS, BLACKLISTED BUILDING WORKER”

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Feb 04 2019

THE ENIGMATIC GILETS-JAUNES

Mike McNair of the CPGB (Weekly Worker) has written a critical analysis of the Gilets-Jaunes protests in France. He suggests that the politics stemming from this movement could move both Right and Left.

 

THE ENIGMATIC GILETS-JAUNES

 

We have just seen the ninth weekend of gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests in France. Numbers were slightly up compared to previous occasions, with the government claiming 84,000 took to the streets across the country and 8,000 in Paris, while 80,000 police were deployed France-wide. Continue reading “THE ENIGMATIC GILETS-JAUNES”

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Jan 31 2019

CORBYN, LABOUR AND THE TORIES’ IMMIGRATION BILL – A dialogue

This is a new dialogue over the consequences of Brexit following the Corbyn-led Labour Party helping Theresa May get the second reading of the Tories’ Immigration Bill through on Wednesday 29th January

see an earlier dialogue at:-

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

This dialogue came about in response to a posting Allan Armstrong made on the Republican Socialist Alliance list. It was also taken up by Phil Vellender (Editorial Board of The Chartist) on his Facebook page.

Continue reading “CORBYN, LABOUR AND THE TORIES’ IMMIGRATION BILL – A dialogue”

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Jan 25 2019

REMEMBERING THE WOBBLIES

 

Eric Thomas Chester,  is author of The Wobblies in Their Heyday (a history of the Industrial Workers of the World during its most vibrant period, the World War I era ) and Yours for Industrial Freedom (an anthology that provides insight into the IWW as it really was based on letters introduced by the prosecution during the 1918 Chicago conspiracy trial). Here he  writes on the period of Wobbly actovity during and immediately after the First World War.

 

REMEMBERING THR WOBBLIES

Mass meeting of IWW members at Bisbee in Arizona in September 1918

 

A little more than a hundred years ago, in September 1918, more than a hundred leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World were convicted of conspiracy to obstruct World War I. The trial marked a critical turning point for the union and the Left in the United States. In marking this centenary, we remember the Industrial Workers of the World as a grass-roots, militant organisation with a radical vision of an alternative society. Continue reading “REMEMBERING THE WOBBLIES”

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Jan 22 2019

REVIEW: CLASS NOT CREED, 1968

Connor Beaton reviews the pamphlet Class Not Creed, 1968 by Richie Venton both as a historic account of events in Northern Ireland and as an indication of the current politics of the Scottish Socialist Party.

Fifty years after the beginning of the civil rights movement in the north of Ireland, the whole island is coming alive with mass political activity. Campaigns against water charges, against sexual violence, for abortion law reform, for marriage equality, and for affordable housing have spilled onto the streets in virtually every major city in Ireland over the past five years. Protests in the south have consistently mobilised tens of thousands of people, particularly young people and women, and demonstrations have also taken place north of the border in a more limited way. Meanwhile, the Brexit vote in 2016 and the collapse of Stormont at the start of 2017 have precipitated a political crisis in the north, making partition a central political issue in perhaps the most serious way since the Good Friday Agreement was concluded in 1998. Continue reading “REVIEW: CLASS NOT CREED, 1968”

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Jan 22 2019

THE IRISH STATE, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE NEW ABORTION LAW

Socialist Democracy (Ireland) provides a further two articles outlining the continued resistance of the Right and Catholic Church to women’s rights in the aftermath of the historic victory over the Eight Amendment.

 

1. NEW IRISH ABORTION LAW

A 350 million euro hospital for the nuns, 14 years jail time for those who exercise the right to choose

The Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill passed through the Irish Dail just before midnight on 5th December. The debate involved an ill-tempered confrontation between left and right, but this debate was on marginal issues rather than on the substance of the bill. A transparent wrecking attempt by the right around data collection and conscientious objection rights for anti-abortion medical personnel failed and the government proposals were passed with minimal changes. Continue reading “THE IRISH STATE, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE NEW ABORTION LAW”

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