Dec 09 2019

THE RISE OF NATIONAL POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM – A LAST DITCH ATTEMPT TO HOLD TOGETHER THE UK

The following article by Allan Armstrong is the last chapter from his book From Pre-Brit to Ex-Brit. This deals with the current  crisis facing the UK state and examines the possibility of its demise.

(pdf copies of the book can be obtained by e-mailing intfrobel@yahoo.com or the book can be read directly at:- https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/from-pre-brit-to-ex-brit-3.pdf.) 

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(Neither the UK nor Great Britain have ever been unitary states. All forms of unionism are based upon the unionist nature of the UK state, which has recognised England, Scotland, Ireland (later Northern Ireland)  and Wales as constituent units. This has led to the adoption of various forms of hybrid Britishness.

Three key terms used in this chapter are explained at the beginning of the book:-

Conservative unionism acknowledges the unionist nature of the UK state through administrative devolution (or later acceptance of liberal unionist devolutionary measures  which it once opposed, but have become part of the status quo)

Liberal unionism  also accepts the unionist nature of the UK state but promotes political devolution as a better method of holding the state together

Reactionary unionism upholds the UK state and openly celebrates  its most repressive aspects. e.g. the crown powers, the armed forces and judiciary. It is also prepared to mobilise extra-constitutional force to prevent national self-determination, greater measures of political devolution, and reverse political devolution and even some administrative devolutionary measures that have already been accepted.)

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THE RISE OF NATIONAL POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM –

A LAST DITCH ATTEMPT TO HOLD TOGETHER THE UK

 

(Neither the UK nor Great Britain have ever been unitary states. All forms of unionism are based upon the unionist nature of the UK state, which has recognised England, Scotland, Ireland (later Northern Ireland)  and Wales as constituent units. This has led to the adoption of various forms of hybrid Britishness.. Continue reading “THE RISE OF NATIONAL POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM – A LAST DITCH ATTEMPT TO HOLD TOGETHER THE UK”

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Aug 30 2019

It’s the constitution stupid – After the Boris ‘coup’ let’s fUK it!

Allan Armstrong gives his response to the latest constitutional crisis hitting the UK state

 

It’s the constitution stupid – After the Boris ‘coup’ let’s fUK it!

 

Contents

  1. A constitutional and legal coup under Crown-in-Westminster sovereignty
  2. The UK’s growing constitutional crisis, the retreat of neo-liberalism and liberal unionism and the growth of right populism and reactionary unionism
  3. The continued rise of right national populism and the hard right in the UK
  4. The May 23rd Euro-elections – Farage’s right populist victory paves the way for the hard right take-over of the Tory Party
  5. The asymmetric polarisation of UK politics
  6. From Maybynism to Borisbynism? – Labour’s role in helping to move official politics to the right
  7. Neo-liberal attempts to turn back the right populist challenge over Brexit
  8. The right and centre Remainers take politics to the streets
  9. The Lexiters’ (and Irexiters’) economism and abstract propagandism
  10. The emergence of left Remainers, Another Europe Is Possible, and their turn to the streets
  11. Conclusions

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  1. A constitutional and legal coup under Crown-in-Westminster sovereignty

The decision taken by Boris Johnson and his backers  to prorogue Westminster on the 28th August represents the culmination of a prolonged constitutional crisis, which began with the Scottish independence referendum between 2012-14, and has been accelerating in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016. Today we have liberals (in all the mainstream British parties), and even some conservatives, bemoaning  the unconstitutional and illegal nature of the decision taken by the unelected prime minister, Johnson, along with privy councillor, Jacob Rees-Mogg (Tory MP representing the eighteenth century), and the unelected head of state, queen Elizabeth. However, the UK state, based on the sovereignty of the Crown in Westminster, with its armoury of anti-democratic Crown Powers, gives enormous power to the dominant section of the British ruling class. Proroguing parliament is both constitutional and legal. Continue reading “It’s the constitution stupid – After the Boris ‘coup’ let’s fUK it!”

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Jul 28 2019

BBC’s WAR ON CORBYN

Tony Greenstein takes apart the BBC’s Panorama programme Is Labour anti-Semitic? providing the Right wing,  racist and Islamophobic background of its producer, John Ware and highlighting the tendentious biased techniques used in its production.

BBC’S WAR ON CORBYN

 

 

 

As John Pilger has long argued, the BBC is the most refined propaganda service in the world.1 Its reputation for ‘impartiality’ is what has helped make it so effective.

However, the BBC was born in the womb of the British state. In 1926 Lord Reith, its first director-general, banned the Archbishop of Canterbury from broadcasting an appeal for compromise in the General Strike.2 The ruling class was determined to defeat the unions and they did not want any such messages. At Orgreave during the miners’ Great Strike of 1984-85 the BBC deliberately reversed the order of its footage, showing miners throwing stones and police baton-charging them, so as to make it appear that the police were responding to miners’ violence rather than the miners responding to police brutality.3 Continue reading “BBC’s WAR ON CORBYN”

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Jul 26 2019

WHY WOMEN HAVE BETTER SEX UNDER SOCIALISM

Murdo Ritchie reviews the book, Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism and other Arguments for Economic Independence by Dr Kristen R. Ghodsee.

 

WHY WOMEN HAVE BETTER SEX UNDER SOCIALISM

 

Inessa Armand 

 

“If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism, then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.”  Inessa Armand

The collapse of “socialism” in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union may have changed borders but it didn’t make the Earth move –at least for many women.  The economic, personal and sexual changes that occurred, changed many women’s lives but not to their benefit according to this new book. The provocative cover title has two parts the first in large type joined by a conjunction to the second in smaller lettering.  But the writer makes the case for understanding both in their inter-linked entirety.  She is quite clear “unregulated capitalism is bad for women.” (p1)  Continue reading “WHY WOMEN HAVE BETTER SEX UNDER SOCIALISM”

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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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Dec 11 2018

UK: THE POLITICAL CRISIS INTENSIFIES OVER THE BREXIT DEAL

This article first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland) analyses the crisis for the UK state, the British ruling class and the Tories and Labour over there deal May is trying to get through parliament.

UK: THE POLITICAL CRISIS INTENSIFIES OVER THE BREXIT DEAL


The unveiling of the draft agreement on withdrawal from the EU has intensified the political crisis within the British ruling elite – provoking a rash of resignations from the Conservative government; threats to overthrow the premiership of Theresa May; and warnings of dire consequences should it fail to win support in Parliament. Continue reading “UK: THE POLITICAL CRISIS INTENSIFIES OVER THE BREXIT DEAL”

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Sep 11 2018

EDINBURGH OCTOBER 6th – A RALLYING CALL FOR THE LEFT

Allan Armstrong puts the case for building a Scottish-wide Left contingent on the ‘All Under One Banner’ march in Edinburgh on October 6th

 

EDINBURGH OCTOBER 6th – A RALLYING CALL FOR THE LEFT

 

35,000 in Glasgow, 10,000 in Inverness, 13,000 in Dumfries and 16,000 in Dundee – ‘All Under One Banner ‘ clearly represents something significant in Scottish politics. However it requires an examination of a wider politics going back to 2014 to appreciate the nature of this phenomenon.

A thwarted democratic revolution

If we look at the Indy Ref1 campaign we can see that it represented a democratic revolution, with 85% actually voting, following a registration drive which drew in 97% of the potential electorate. This was something unprecedented in UK politics. Continue reading “EDINBURGH OCTOBER 6th – A RALLYING CALL FOR THE LEFT”

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Dec 10 2017

BOMBARDIER-BOEING DISPUTE THREATENS WORKERS IN THE NORTH

Bombardier is a Canadian owned aircraft company which employs 4000 people in Belfast. At the moment these workers’ jobs, pay and conditions  are threatened as an outcome  of growing American protectionism, reflected through the Northern Irish political set-up, which hamstrings any effective trade union response. This consequences of this are explained in this article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) 

 

BOMBARDIER-BOEING DISPUTE THREATENS WORKERS IN NORTH

 

Bombardier aerospace factory Belfast

 

The ongoing dispute between aerospace companies Bombardier and Boeing – which has raised fears over future of production at Bombardier’s Belfast facility – has served to highlight the highly integrated nature of modern capitalism and the exposure of the Northern Ireland economy to global upheavals. Continue reading “BOMBARDIER-BOEING DISPUTE THREATENS WORKERS IN THE NORTH”

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Dec 04 2017

AUSTRIA’S RIGHT TURN

There has been some debate amongst the British and American Left about the nature of the challenges to the old political establishment offered by Brexiters and Trump (‘Brexit plus, plus, plus’). Some have argued that these represent fightbacks.  by the working class against the neoliberalism, albeit somewhat distorted. This blog has posted several articles which have argued that these Right populist challenges have been mounted by sections of the ruling class, not so openly compromised by the 2008 crash, in order to win wider ruling class support and launch a stepped up ruling class offensive. They have indeed successfully made appeals to  sections of the working class, but mainly those  who have lost their traditional organisations and self-confidence and are looking instead for saviours.

The recent triumph of the Right in Austria shows this process going one step further.  This has happened shortly after some other liberal and Left commentators argued that  the recent defeat of the far right Freedom Party’s presidential candidate in Austria, and  the electoral victories over Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen show that right populism is  being contained in Western Europe at least.

However, a section of Austria’s  leading traditional conservative People’s Party, led by Sebastian Kurz, decided it would break the longstanding Peoples Party/Social Democrat Party coalition and push politics to the Right. Kurz  successfully captured the Peoples Party leadership. After the recent general general election he  led the party into a new government coalition, this time  with the  Freedom Party.

Far from undermining neo-liberalism, Kurz intends to use this coalition to mount a stepped up neo-liberal offensive. This is also the trajectory of the real leaders of the Brexit and of Trump and his backers.

This article by Benjamin Opratko describes what has happened in Austria.

 

AUSTRIA’S RIGHT TURN

 

Kurz rebrands the conservative Peoples Party as the New Folk Party

With the two parties of the Right entering into a coalition government, Austrians can expect more neoliberalism and more xenophobia. Continue reading “AUSTRIA’S RIGHT TURN”

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Nov 22 2017

LONDON – THE NEW HANSEATIC LEAGUE

John Tummon argues that the City of London is becoming increasingly detached from the British economy and UK state and is taking on a role more akin to medieval city-states.

 

LONDON – THE NEW HANSEATIC LEAGUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those who like to point to every decimal point increase in unemployment, GDP or productivity as evidence of an upturn, when the government spins figures every month or two, are ignoring the more important indicators about the direction of economic, social and political travel. Continue reading “LONDON – THE NEW HANSEATIC LEAGUE”

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