Mar 26 2020

FIGHTING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Trade unionists, health workers, independence supporters and community activists demand radical action from the Scottish government to fight the pandemic

(To add your name and group or position (if any), email: covidscotresponse@gmail.com)

This statement was first published on 19th March. This version contains additions and revisions in the light of recent developments. There is a list of signatories at the end of this statement – as more are added the list will be updated at https://tinyurl.com/t6s5csz

The Covid-19 outbreak poses a real and significant threat to the people of Scotland, a country with a large elderly population, massive health inequalities and rural communities who will have difficulties accessing the health service when they need it most.

The Tory Governments “herd immunity” strategy is a catastrophe. The Westminster government itself predicted over a quarter of a million UK dead following this approach. Boris Johnson has now declared that “herd immunity” isn’t their strategy anymore because the science had changed! However, according to the editor of the Lancet in a tweet,” it took a study from Imperial to understand the likely burden of COVID-19 on the NHS. But read the first paper we published on COVID-19 on Jan 24. 32% admitted to ITU with 15% mortality. We have wasted 7 weeks. This crisis was entirely preventable.”

The government knew as early as January 24th that their strategy would lead to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. Confirming this horrific assessment, the Sunday Times claims: “At a private engagement at the end of February, Cummings outlined the government’s strategy. Those present say it was “herd immunity, protect the economy and if that means some pensioners die, too bad”.

Throughout this crisis the Tories have put the needs of the economy before saving lives. Until now they have ignored all of the expert opinion, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the experiences of China, South Korea, Taiwan and other countries that have been successful in reducing the rate of infection.

While Johnson has finally moved in the right direction by closing schools and leisure facilities, and launching an economic package of support for affected workers and businesses, it comes more than seven weeks late. These positive changes for workers have come about with pressure from the labour movement.

The Tories disastrous strategy means that we have lost seven weeks which could have been used to order and make ventilators, testing kits and protective gear for medical and care staff. This time should have been used to retrain staff and build health care capacity. The government has allowed the Coronavirus to spread for seven weeks when they could have held it back. The cost in lost lives is as yet unknown. However, in Italy where deaths are now spiralling, they introduced testing and social isolation far earlier than Britain. The later you begin social isolation, the worse the destination. It is likely that deaths in the UK will eventually outstrip Italy unless drastic action is taken.

As well as introducing measures to protect the incomes of some workers, the government bill will give them the power to detain and isolate members of the public, including children for potentially indefinite periods; the prohibition of public gatherings without the standard protections for strikes and industrial action that exist in the Civil Contingencies Act; and the weakening of safeguards on mass surveillance powers. These powers would be on the statute for at least 2 years this is despite Boris Johnson’s claim that he can beat the pandemic in 12 weeks!

However, the kind of drastic action we need must increase the available health and social care workforce; to ease the burden on frontline staff; containing and slowing the virus; and supporting working people.

After years of austerity the NHS and local authorities do not have the capacity and resilience to manage the current crisis unless more immediate decisive measures are taken. The NHS 111 service is already overrun and will be unable to cope with a large upswing in demand. Stories of health professionals lacking even the most basic protective and testing equipment are all over the news. Our front-line health professionals are calling for support. A letter signed by 229 scientists from UK universities on 14th March said the government’s approach would put the NHS under huge stress and “risk many more lives than necessary.”

The UK is the fifth richest country in the world, which means we are in a strong position to implement the bold, structural changes this crisis requires. Individual and community action is essential in tackling this crisis. But we also will require centralised support in order to be effective. Thus, where powers are devolved, the Scottish Government must be prepared to step in and change the direction being taken by the UK government.

The Tories are guilty of criminal negligence. Their attitude to Covid 19 mirrors their approach to Grenfell. We call on the Scottish administration to publicly break from this disastrous approach. We insist that the Scottish government focuses on saving lives and protecting vulnerable people above the needs of the markets and finance. They should reject the authoritarian attack on civil liberties from the Tories.

We therefore call on the Scottish government to:

1. Invoke effective measures to stop the virus spreading as well as introducing a programme of aggressive testing and contact tracing, as called for by the head of the World Health Organisation.

2. Call upon the UK government to release immediate funds to build emergency health care facilities and provisions as have been done in China and Italy. Stop the handover of £2.4M per day to private health for necessary hospital beds. We demand the immediate requisition of private hospital and hotel beds to meet the soaring need (as has happened in Spain) and hire thousands of extra care and health workers.

3. We welcome the decision to close all schools and educational institutions – this is an example of how the Scottish Government can shift the UK agenda when it takes action that puts people before profit; however, resources must be made available to local authorities to ensure that free childcare is provided for those parents who are required to work, that support is available for the most vulnerable children and free school meals provided for all those in need.

4. Put immediate arrangements in place for childcare for all health and social care frontline workers.

5. Work with the Scotland Community Planning Partnerships that coordinate LG, NHS, Fire and Police in each LG area to establish a register of volunteering. This register must include tasks and skills that individuals can volunteer for and tasks that need volunteers.

6. Seek full trade union engagement to ensure that workers’ interests are at the heart of any strategy.

7. Use its power and representation at Westminster to amend the bill attacking civil liberties.

8. Close down all non-essential workplaces.

In addition to the measures announced to support working people, we are calling for:

· Full universal sick pay for everyone, including workers on zero hours contracts.
· Offer the same protection to those recently laid off and self-employed workers
· A ban on tenant evictions and utility ‘cut offs’.
· Rent and mortgage freezes.
· Emergency grants for those in serious poverty; the expansion of meals on wheels to feed the hungry; price controls on essential goods and other measures to help those most vulnerable.
· No unwarranted clampdowns on civil liberties.
· Opposition to any racist scapegoating of Chinese, Asian, Italian or minority communities.

The economy was fundamentally re-organised in the Second World War and we must do the same again now to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

To fund such a programme, we require:

1. Sweeping measures such as a 20% windfall tax on the top 1% of earners

2. An arms conversion program from military spending on arms, towards the manufacture of ventilators and other necessary military equipment to give our emergency services the tools and facilities they need to deal with this crisis.

The health service, not banks, should be bailed out. Protecting billionaires and offshore tax accounts while the rest of us take our chances with limited intensive care beds and oxygen therapy is unconscionable. Tax the corporations and divert resources from arms to health now!

Let’s fight to save every life. This is a group set up with the sole purpose of advocating these demands in relation to the Coronavirus epidemic. An initial list of signatories to this statement includes:

Signatures (as of 12pm on 26th March 2020)

Poppy Gerrard Abbott, PhD sociology candidate & tutor, University of Edinburgh
Jim Aitken
Jamie Allinson – UCU
Allan Armstrong – EIS (life member), RIC
Shereen Benjamin – UCU
Sara Bennett – Unite, Edinburgh
Willie Black – Unite, Edinburgh
Pauline Bradley
Angus Brown – Unite, Edinburgh
George S Bruce – Branch President HW UCU
Grant Buttars – Branch President, UCU University of Edinburgh
Cait Ni Cadlaig – Unite Community
Councillor Graham Campbell – SNP Socialists, Musicians Union Scotland NI Committee (pc)
Kevin Campbell – ex president SSTA
Pete Cannell – UCU, Edinburgh
Jane Carnall – local activist (@EyeEdinburgh)
Jim Cassidy – Trade Unionists for Independence / Airdrie for Independence. RMT member
Graham Checkley
Nicholas Cimini – (Ex-President EIS/ULA)
Gary Clark – Branch Secretary CWU Scotland No.2
Ramsay Clark – UNISON Edinburgh
Eileen Cook – EIS/ULA
Sylvia Crick – Unison, Edinburgh
Muireann Crowley – University of Edinburgh
Leslie Cunningham – Unite, Edinburgh
Neil Davidson – UCU, University of Glasgow
John Devine – Glasgow South SSP
Emma Donovan, Edinburgh University
Mike Downham
Derek Durkin – Trade Unions for Independence, Edinburgh
Craig Ewing, Unison, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh
Kevin Ferguson, GMB & IWW
Dr James Foley UCU
Ross Gibson – Strathclyde UCU
Donny Gluckstein – EIS Council and FELA National Executive
Nick Gotts – Scottish Green Party, Edinburgh RIC
Bob Goupillot – UCU, Edinburgh RIC, RCN
Penny Gower – EIS-FELA national executive, EIS Council, Edinburgh College EIS branch secretary
Ishbel Griffiths – EIS
Richard Haley – SACC
Luke Henderson – Unison, Edinburgh
Mick Hogg – RMT – Regional Organiser, Aberdeen
Tallash Kantai
Victor Lera – Extinction Rebellion
Kenny Logan – CWU
George MacDougall
Tommy Martin – Unite/ United Colours of Leith
Mike McCaig RMT Org Unit – (In A Personal Capacity)
Chris McCusker – Membership Secretary SNP Trade Unionists, VC SNP Socialists
Helen McFarlane – Unite executive council election candidate for Scotland
Campbell McGregor – Scottish Socialist Party
Dr. Danny McGregor UCU
Tracy Anne Miller – Branch Secretary of UNISON Lothian Health Branch
Peter Moonie
Ann Morgan
Raymond Morell – Unite Branch Chair, Edinburgh
Professor Elisa Morgera – University of Strathclyde
Duncan Neill, on behalf of the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network.
Katie Nicoll Baines – University of Edinburgh
Rob Paterson – Midlothian Trades Council
Muslim Womens Association of Edinburgh
Lynn Paterson – Secretary, Edinburgh and Lothians May Day Committee
James Richards – Vice President UCU Branch Committee at Heriot-Watt University
Neil Rothnie – Extinction Rebellion/ScotE3
Francesco Sindico – Co-Director, Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance
Pat Smith – Edinburgh RIC
SNP Trade Union Group
Ann Swinney – Dundee UCU Branch President and UCU Scotland Honorary Secretary
Dr. Mark Taylor – EIS ULA Edinburgh Napier University Branch Co-convener
UCU Branch Committee at Heriot-Watt University
Ungagged editorial team
Colin Vetters – EIS, Glasgow
Lena Wånggren – UCU Scotland Vice President and UCU Edinburgh Vice President
Cathy Watkins – PCS, Edinburgh

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Mar 14 2020

THE LABOUR LEFT ALLIANCE AND ROYAL SOCIALISM

This letter by Steve Freeman is a reponse to a report by Stan Keable in Weekly Worker about the post-December 12th general election conference of  section of the Labour Left, who have become disillusioned with Momentum, John Lansman’s Corbyn fan club. Yet, as this letter shows the Labour Left Alliance retains  the weaknesses of Corbyn, his allies and Momentum when it comes to the existing UK state.

 

THE LABOUR LEFT ALLIANCE AND ROYAL SOCIALISM

 

As reported by Stan Keable in ‘A vision of royal socialism’ (Weekly Worker, February 27), the Labour Left Alliance conference was a significant event in the evolution of the Labour Left, which was revitalised by the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in 2015. Stan reports that 130 delegates at the conference represented about 36 local and national Labour Left groups.

The Labour Left in England has long been ‘social-monarchist’ – or ‘old Labour’, as it was known under the reign of Tony Blair. Social monarchism is the programme based on the 1945 Labour government, which established a version of state capitalism with a ‘welfare state’ under the governance of the constitution of the crown-in-parliament, which Stan calls the “constitutional monarchist system”.

Brirish Left Corbyn’s social-monarchist programme was seen as a move towards ‘socialism’ by restoring some public ownership, the national health service, the welfare state, council housing and progressive taxation, etc. Social monarchism is the trade unionist politics of the British working class. Its aim is to bargain with the ruling class and the employers for better terms and conditions for the working class. Labour and the trade unions are thus two sides – political and economic – of a better social contract agreed within the framework of the constitution of the UK ruling class.

Momentum was launched as the support group for Corbyn’s social-monarchist programme, with Jon Lansman becoming its unelected monarch after his January 10th 2017 ‘bureaucratic coup’. Left social monarchists became increasingly disillusioned with him. This discontent was crystallised after he called for the expulsion of Chris Williamson MP. Over two years later the LLA is a potential alternative Momentum. Around 130 delegates arrived in Sheffield to launch the new organisation.

Left social monarchism has no republican democratic programme. It conceals its ‘democratic deficit’ by concentrating on or prioritising economic and social reforms. It is ‘republican’ only in a token way – as a long-term goal, when socialism is won. In the meantime, workers should bargain for social improvements and not seek political change.

A classic example of left social monarchism was in the motion from Cheltenham Labour Left, which called for a “socialist UK”. This was passed by 63 to 53 votes. It is not just that a socialist kingdom is a contradiction in terms. It shows the blind spot or lack of self-awareness of the English Labour Left. There is a complete absence or ignorance of the militant democratic republican politics of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Connolly, MacLean, etc.

Cheltenham Labour Left seems to consider the United Kingdom only as a geographical territory, which can be filled with capitalist or socialist policy content. The UK is a state and law through which the ruling class exercises its control over a given territory. In law it is an undemocratic union state, comprised of different nations. This is not the means through which the working class can socialise the economy.

A combined and uneven, democratic transformation – or democratic revolution – will not leave the current union undisturbed. The 2016 referendum on the European Union has already shown that Ireland and Scotland are on a different trajectory. English left social monarchists haven’t noticed this – much less drawn any political conclusions.

It is significant that of the 10 bullet points with which Stan sums up the political achievements of the Sheffield conference, nine were organisational and only one set a strategic political goal. This stated that the LLA stands for the “free movement of people”.

It seems that Labour Party Marxists played an important role in supporting the organisation of left social monarchists. Their aim was to win the Labour Party to communism, with the LLA as a vehicle for a united front of communists and left social monarchists. With this in mind the London LLA, under the influence of the Labour Party Marxists, proposed that communism should be the aim.

This is in the resolution from London LLA on aims and principles. This called for “opposition to capitalism, imperialism, racism and militarism and the ecological degradation of the planet … a commitment to socialism as the rule of the working class”. This would move towards full communism as “a stateless, classless, moneyless society”, carrying out the communist principle of “From each according to their abilities … etc”.

The communist programme from London LLA was voted down by about two-thirds to one-third of delegates. The influence of social monarchism runs deep in the Labour Left. Stan fails to mention that hidden within the London LLA aims was a democratic republican programme.

This calls for “achieving a democratic republic. The standing army, the monarchy, the House of Lords and the state sponsorship of the Church of England must go. We support a single-chamber parliament, proportional representation and annual elections”. Whilst this is supportable, it falls down badly in its implicit acceptance of English nationalism (i.e. Anglo-British nationalism).

England is by far the dominant nation in the British union. No revolutionary working class republican would ignore the right of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to self-determination. Neither would militant republicans give any support whatsoever to the anti-democratic Acts of Union. Supporting British unionism is the litmus test of English social chauvinism.

The conclusion from Sheffield must be that the Labour left is disorientated by Corbyn’s defeat but is still following the political programme of social monarchism. Counterposing the communist maximum programme to this simply lets Labour Left reformism off the hook. The immediate task is not about communism but taking the only road towards it through consistent working class democracy – which means winning the working class to the minimum republican programme.

 

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This was first posted in Weekly Worker:-

https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1289/letters/

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also see:-

Steve Freeman – The Left Unity Conference, 2018

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2018/07/18/left-unity-conference-20-6-18/

Allan Armstrong – The Impact of the December 12th Genera Election across the constituent parts of the UK

THE IMPACT OF THE DECEMBER 12TH GENERAL ELECTION ACROSS THE CONSTITUENT PARTS OF THE UK

Allan Armstrong – After Boris’s ‘Coup’, Let’s Fuk it – It’s the Constitution Stupid

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2019/08/30/after-boriss-coup-lets-fuk-it-its-the-constitution-stupid/

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Feb 27 2020

COMPETING STRATEGIES IN THE FACE OF THE BREAK-UP OF THE UK AND THE CASE FOR A SOCIALIST REPUBLICAN ‘INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW’ ALLIANCE

Allan Armstrong has added an addendum to his book From Pre-Brit to Ex-Brit  (https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/from-pre-brit-to-ex-brit-1.pdffollowing the December 12th UK and February 8th Irish general elections.

 

COMPETING STRATEGIES IN THE FACE OF THE BREAK-UP OF THE UK AND THE CASE FOR A  SOCIALIST REPUBLICAN ‘INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW’ ALLIANCE

 

 

 

 

Although Johnson gained an overall Right Populist electoral victory in the UK on December 12th, this disguises the fact that in Scotland the constitutional nationalist SNP emerged as the electoral victor, pushing the Tories and Scottish Labour into retreat. In Wales, the still largely liberal unionist, Welsh Labour and the constitutional nationalist, Plaid Cymru retained an overall majority, but the Tories made substantial gains. In Northern Ireland, the reactionary unionist DUP lost its overall majority, giving a tentative constitutional nationalist (Sinn Fein and SDLP) and liberal unionist (APNI) alliance a majority. Furthermore, there are wider national democratic movements in Scotland, Wales and Ireland/Northern Ireland, which will be prepared to challenge Johnson’s reactionary unionist clampdown. This is a recipe for continued constitutional crisis, with Scotland in the front line at present. Continue reading “COMPETING STRATEGIES IN THE FACE OF THE BREAK-UP OF THE UK AND THE CASE FOR A SOCIALIST REPUBLICAN ‘INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW’ ALLIANCE”

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Feb 22 2020

GENERAL ELECTION: PODEMOS COMES TO IRELAND

We are posting the following article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) about the outcome of the Irish general election held on February 8th

 

GENERAL ELECTION: PODEMOS COMES TO IRELAND

 

 

Sinn Fein were expected to do well in the recent Irish general election. In the event they topped the poll, reviving the old call Tiocfaidh ár lá! (Our day will come), and brought chaos to the Irish governmental system.

However if we take a step back we see many other examples across Europe of emergent parties coming to power and promising an end to austerity, only to move to the right – Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece and many others. Podemos has come to Ireland, but it is a long road from here to the Worker’s Republic. Continue reading “GENERAL ELECTION: PODEMOS COMES TO IRELAND”

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Feb 04 2020

FROM ILLUSIONS IN A LEXIT BREXIT TO A DISILLUSIONED LEXIT FROM BREXIT POLITICS – THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION AND INDEPENDENT SOCIALISTS ACROSS THESE ISLANDS

Allan Armstrong has published an article entitled From Illusions in a Lexit Brexit to a Disillusioned Lexit from Brexit Politics (https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/socialists-and-december-12th-election-5.pdf) The contents of this book are shown below, followed by the last two chapters and conclusion. This  article follows The Impact of the December 12th General Election across the Constituent Parts of the UK. (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2020/01/24/the-impact-of-the-december-12th-general-election-across-the-constituent-parts-of-the-uk/)

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FROM ILLUSIONS IN A LEXIT BREXIT TO A DISILLUSIONED LEXIT FROM BREXIT POLITICS 

Telegraph backs Lexiters’ ‘revolution’ and ‘Peoples Brexit!

 

Contents

a)  The 2015 general election provided a warning

b)  After 2015 – an increasingly floundering Left

c)  Northern Ireland – a different pattern

d)  Reactionary unionism and Europhobic opposition to the EU

e)  The largest independent Socialist parties walk into the Brexit trap

f)  The official Remain and Leave campaigns – two wings of the British ruling class

g)  The Lexiters’ false arguments

h)  The political options open in the run-up to the 2016 EU referendum

i)  From 23rd May, 2016 to 8th June, 2017 – A victory for the Left or the Right?

j)  ‘Independent’ Socialists and ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’!

k)  Corbyn and the ‘independent’ Socialists unwittingly help Boris Johnson to victory

l)  Independent socialists after the December 12th general election

m) Independent socialists in Scotland and Northern Ireland/Ireland

n) Conclusion

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THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION AND INDEPENDENT SOCIALISTS ACROSS THESE ISLANDS

 

1. Independent socialists after the December 12th general election

On December 12th, Labour’s vote share fell by 7.8% and its number of MPs decreased from 262 to 202. The Tories’ vote share rose 1.2%, but its number of MPs increased from 317 to 365. The gap in the vote share was 11.4%, 32.2% for Labour and 43.6% for the Tories.[1] Not surprisingly a shattered Jeremy Corbyn offered his resignation, opening up the prospect of a new leadership campaign. Continue reading “FROM ILLUSIONS IN A LEXIT BREXIT TO A DISILLUSIONED LEXIT FROM BREXIT POLITICS – THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION AND INDEPENDENT SOCIALISTS ACROSS THESE ISLANDS”

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Jan 26 2020

NEW DECADE, NEW APPROACH – WELCOME TO BACKSTOP COUNTY

E&L are posting this link about the reconstitution of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly. It was first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland). 

 

NEW DECADE, NEW APPROACH – WELCOME TO BACKSTOP COUNTY

 

 

The New Decade, New Approach document restoring the local executive in the North of Ireland marks a return of the Orwellian doublespeak of the novel 1984.

New Approach is in reality the same old tired formula of bribing Unionist bigots and bribing and strong-arming a corrupt Sinn Fein in to cobbling together another forced coalition. The idea that this will last for a new decade is the wildest fantasy for a process that has been in a state of ongoing collapse since the Good Friday Agreement was signed. This latest iteration is so dysfunctional that neither Sinn Fein nor the DUP would own it. While being driven on by their fear of the only alternative, fighting an election, they reluctantly mutter their conditional support and assure their members that they can change it later once it is launched by the British and Irish governments. The forced agreement was followed by immediate convocation of the Assembly in an attempt to move on rapidly before any awkward questions could be asked.  Continue reading “NEW DECADE, NEW APPROACH – WELCOME TO BACKSTOP COUNTY”

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Jan 24 2020

THE IMPACT OF THE DECEMBER 12TH GENERAL ELECTION ACROSS THE CONSTITUENT PARTS OF THE UK

Allan Armstrong follows up his article, The Continued Rise of Right National Populism and Reactionary Unionism in the Run-up to the December 12th General Election (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2019/12/09/the-continued-rise-of-right-populism-and-reactionary-unionism/). He examines the impact of the general election results across the constituent parts of the UK and the prospects for the immediate future. 

 

THE IMPACT OF THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION ACROSS THE CONSTITUENT PARTS OF THE UK

 

 

a)    The three possible outcomes of the December 12th Westminster general election

b)    How Corbyn’s Left social democracy, its complicity in British chauvinism and racism and its support for the UK state helped to pave the way for Johnson

c)    Other factors undermining the Corbynista challenge to Johnson

d)    The election results in England

e)    The election results in Wales

f)     The election results in Scotland

g)    The election results in Northern Ireland

h)    Conclusion

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  Continue reading “THE IMPACT OF THE DECEMBER 12TH GENERAL ELECTION ACROSS THE CONSTITUENT PARTS OF THE UK”

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Jan 10 2020

FROM PRE-BRIT TO EX-BRIT – The Forging and the Break-up of the UK and Britishness

 Allan Armstrong’s new book From Pre-Brit to Ex-Brit – The Forging and the Break-up of the UK and Britishness is now available online at:- 

(https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/from-pre-brit-to-ex-brit-1.pdf)

 (Originally posted on 10.1.19, this now includes an addendum, this now includes an addendum following the December 12th UK and February 8th Irish general elections – Part Five, Chapter 5)

Below is the Introduction with an outline if the book followed by a table of Contents

 

FROM PRE-BRIT TO EX-BRIT

The Forging and the Break-up of the UK and Britishness

 

An outline of the book

Today, even the United Kingdom’s most diehard defenders realise their state may not be around forever. This is one of the reasons they are putting up such an intransigent defence. And, as far as the British ruling class goes, their sense of entitlement, following their enrichment over centuries of imperialist plunder and exploitation, means there a few lengths they will not go to maintain their privileged position. Continue reading “FROM PRE-BRIT TO EX-BRIT – The Forging and the Break-up of the UK and Britishness”

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Dec 09 2019

LEAKED US TRADE TALKS SHOW HOW TRUMP IS DICTATING JOHNSON’S APPROACH TO A HARD BREXIT

Given their shared record of constant lying, the carefully prepared declaration from both Trump and Johnson that the thought of further privatising the NHS never entered their minds, will be taken by most people as an indication that the NHS is very much up for sale. The article below from Open Democracy  looks a little deeper into the one-sided relationship between the US and UK

 

LEAKED US TRADE TALKS SHOW HOW TRUMP IS DICTATING JOHNSON’S APPROACH TO A HARD BREXIT

 

‘”I wouldn’t want the NHS on a silver platter.’ That’s fooled them, eh, Boris.”

 

Far from taking back control, Britain has clearly entered into a relationship where we hold none of the cards. Continue reading “LEAKED US TRADE TALKS SHOW HOW TRUMP IS DICTATING JOHNSON’S APPROACH TO A HARD BREXIT”

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Dec 09 2019

THE RISE OF NATIONAL POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM IN THE RUN UP TO THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION

In the lead-up to the December 12th general election Allan Armstrong updates  his analysis of the drift to the Right populist and reactionary unionist politics in the UK and what this possibly means for the future of the Union.

This is followed by an article by  statement from  the Radical Independence Campaign in Scotland on the general election.

Finally we are posting an article by  Tony Greenstein, expelled Labour Party member from Brighton. He predicted the unexpected rise in support for Jeremy Corbyn in 2017, but thinks that Labour’s chances have declined in the run up to the December general election.

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  1. THE CONTINUED RISE OF RIGHT POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM 

IN THE LEAD-UP TO THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION

 

(A fuller explanation of what is meant by Right national populism can be found in the article:- https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/right-national-populism-16.3.19.pdf

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 article  are:-

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

Reactionary unionism – This 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.) Continue reading “THE RISE OF NATIONAL POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM IN THE RUN UP TO THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION”

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