Dec 26 2016

SCOTLAND’S REPUBLIC

Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance, RISE and LUP, looks at possible futures for the UK in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

 

SCOTLAND’S REPUBLIC

In her speech to the Tory conference Theresa May promised the Brexit revolution which would bring power back to the UK. She declared “change is going to come” in what she described as a “quiet revolution”. The “roots of the revolution run deep” in Britain because this was “a revolution in which millions of our fellow citizens stood up and said they were not prepared to be ignored anymore” (1).
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Mar 25 2015

DEFINING REPUBLICANISM

John Tummon (Republican Socialist Alliance) responds to Murdo Ritchie’s (RCN) Promoting Republicanism (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/02/24/promoting-republicanism/)

Murdo Ritchie’s ‘Promoting Republicanism’ is a very important contribution to something we Republican Socialists need to keep working on until we have a theoretically rigorous and internally-tested critique of the poverty of any socialist analysis that fails to incorporate a full understanding of democracy and republicanism; only when this is in place can we think about breaking through to a position of genuine influence on the Left, let alone wider society outside of Scotland.

I see Murdo’s ‘Promoting Republicanism’ as a key stage in that development – and a very welcome one at that – and my comments, including my attempted development of aspects of what Murdo has written, are put forward in that spirit. What I increasingly find is that the most interesting left thinking in Britain comes from Republican Socialists, which was born out by the impressive quality of discussion at the recent RSA AGM in London; much of what passes as debate within the rest of the British (certainly the English) Left is stale repetition and, within Left Unity, the recycling of stale certainties from past eras in the name of ‘doing politics differently’. Unless we think politics differently, a failed practice will recur.

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Feb 14 2015

GREEK VOTERS REIGNITE THE FLAME FOR DEMOCRACY

Below we are posting an article by Paul Feldman from World to Win on Syriza’s election victory in Greece. This is followed by the leaflet produced by Real Democracy Now (Greece) which was handed out at the Radical Independence Campaign called demonstration at the Scottish Parliament on 14th February.

 

syriza2The stunning victory of the anti-austerity Syriza in the Greek general election deepens the existing political crisis in Europe and throws into sharp relief the reactionary policies of Labour and other mainstream parties in the UK.

This is the first time since the financial crash of 2007-8 and subsequent state bankruptcy of several countries in the European Union, that an electorate has had a clear choice.

Up until now, in Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Greece itself, all the parties contesting for power pledged to observe the harsh terms for bail-outs. Designed to prevent the euro from collapse, the draconian conditions were imposed by the hated Troika – the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Now the Greeks have voted against the Troika and its supporting parties and for an end to austerity policies that have all but destroyed the country’s economy, health service and education system. Homelessness, starvation and destitution have become a common feature in Greece.

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Aug 14 2014

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Jim Slaven of the James Connolly Society wrote the following article for the Irish-based 1916 Societies. Here Jim examines the implications of the Scottish referendum for Ireland.

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As Scotland enters the final three months of the independence referendum campaign it remains too close to call. The No campaign have been consistently ahead throughout but the gap has been steadily narrowing. It seems certain that barring some unforeseen catastrophe befalling one of the campaigns the referendum will go right to the wire. While constitutional nationalists in Ireland, and their supporters in Scotland, have insisted on sitting on the fence on the future of the UK state the 1916 Societies have been clear about our commitment to campaigning for a Yes vote. We will continue to view the constitutional debate in Scotland as an opportunity to offer a republican analysis of the UK state and to link Scotland’s referendum with the campaign for an all Ireland constitutional referendum.

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Apr 14 2014

SCOTLAND: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM VENEZUELA

 Ewan Robertson, an RCN member and a Scots born journalist living in Venezuela, is touring Scotland.  He will be addressing the following meetings:-

  • Monday April 14, STUC: Joint Scottish Venezuela Solidarity Campaign & others lunchtime Latin America fringe meeting for delegates with speakers including Ewan Robertson, 12.30-1.45pm, Caird Hall, Dundee.
  • Tuesday April 15, Aberdeen: Public Meeting with Ewan Robertson, 6.00pm, Unite Offices, 44 King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5TJ
  • Thursday April 17, Glasgow: Ewan Roberston to speak at 7pm showing of the film Revolutionary Doctors, organised by the Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign  & supported by SVSC at the STUC, 333 Woodlands Road Glasgow G3 6NG.
  • Thursday April 24, Edinburgh: Open eyewitness meeting with Ewan Roberston, 7.30pm, Augustine Church, 42 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH1 1EL.

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In the article below Ewan contrasts the experience of the Bolivarian revolution with the aspirations of the people of Scotland in relation to the question of Self Determination.

 

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Mar 07 2014

Republican socialist candidate for the executive of the Left Unity Party

Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance is standing as for the  Executive of  the Left Unity Party. Steve spoke, along with Bernadette McAliskey and Mary MacGregor (RCN) at the 4 Nations After the UK session at the Radical Independence Campaign conference in Glasgow on 23rd November. This is the statement he has produced for the election.

 

Sisters and brothers, comrades and friends, I am standing for one of the fifteen directly elected national council members to represent a republican socialist perspective for Left Unity. I am in the Southwark branch of Left Unity. I am an active trade unionist in UCU. I am also a member of the Republican Socialist Alliance and the International Socialist Network.

In September the Scottish referendum presents a major danger for the British ruling class. Hence the leaders of all three major parties are united in favour of a ‘No’ vote. Cameron and Co. are currently mobilising all their economic and political forces and threatening financial sanctions, ejection from the EU and flight of capital if Scotland does not vote the ‘right’ way.

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Feb 12 2014

THE SNP AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

Eric Chester (RCN) outlines some of the problems that the SNP government’s White Paper Independence-Lite proposals would pose for genuine Scottish self-determination.

Matin Carney, Governor of the Bank of England outlines Scotland's future financial and fiscal subjection under  sterling

Matin Carney, Governor of the Bank of England outlines Scotland’s future financial and fiscal subjection under sterling

As the referendum campaign unfolds, it becomes increasingly obvious that Alex Salmond and the SNP have no interest in a truly independent Scotland. Instead, a ‘yes’ vote is a vote to authorize Salmond to engage in a series of confidential negotiations that will strip an allegedly ‘independent’ Scotland of much of its powers, while binding it as a subordinate entity to the UK, the United States and the European Union. This underlying reality has become even clearer after the recent debates concerning the sterling zone and the Bank of England.

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Oct 31 2012

SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: SHAM OR GENUINE?

Eric Chester argues that support for Scottish self-determination, which has informed RCN policy on Scotland’s independence, is not relevant and that a more pragmatic approach should be taken to decide whether or not to support independence. Eric also warns Socialists about the considerable dangers involved in supporting EU membership for Scotland.

Socialists have always been wary of the pitfalls of nationalism, even the nationalism of an oppressed people. Socialists have always emphasized the vital necessity of international working class solidarity, and yet nationalism presupposes a bond that cuts across class lines.

The issue is not one of the right of self-determination. There can be no doubt that the people of Scotland have the right to separate themselves from the United Kingdom. Indeed, even Westminster concedes that right, at least in theory. As socialists, we uphold the right of Scotland to become an independent state. The question is not whether a vote on Scottish independence should be binding, but whether we, as socialists, should advocate a ‘yes’ vote.

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Aug 05 2012

FOR AN INDEPENDENT SCOTTISH SOCIALIST REPUBLIC

The Republican Communist Network supports the creation of an independent Scottish Socialist Republic as a significant step towards communism. We look to and would support a Federation of European Socialist States.

Our support is for a genuinely independent Republic, not a sham façade that presents a Scottish nationalism that settles for symbols, not substance. A politically independent Scotland cannot be won primarily through a vote, but rather by building a mass movement that takes its demands to the streets, and creates genuinely democratic institutions by the people and for the people.

A fully independent Scotland is one that is not subject to the UK’s Crown Powers and does not recognise the monarchy; a fully independent Scotland would have a banking system controlled by the people and not the Bank of England or the European Central Bank. A fully independent Scotland is one free of all foreign military bases, including the Faslane Naval Base; one that is outside of NATO, because this is an imperialist alliance dominated by the United States of America and supported by British imperialism. A fully independent Scotland would reject the bankers’ top-down internationalism, because this drives the EU’s current austerity agenda in Europe.

We need a new European unity based on internationalism from below.

Our vision of an independent Scotland is very different from the ‘independence” advocated by the SNP. In the two years until the referendum, we hope to work with others who share our vision of an independent Scottish Republic and are not willing to hand the SNP a blank cheque. We know that Alex Salmond is already bargaining behind closed doors, reassuring the ruling class, here and abroad, that the SNP can deliver an ‘independent’ Scotland subservient to business interests.

When the time comes, we will determine how we will vote, given the options presented, but for now our role is to organize around a Socialist vision of independence. Help to achieve this!

Republican Communist Network, 4.8.12

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