Jul 07 2017

TWO REVOLUTIONS?

Steve Freeman reports on the politics displayed at the Left Unity Party’s conference held on June 24th in London. This was first published as a letter in Weekly Worker (http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1162/letters/)

 

TWO REVOLUTIONS?

Jeremy quite happy with the Crown

On June 24, Left Unity members met in conference to consider the way ahead in the next period. Members are aware of the powerful forces pulling the party to the right. But conference revealed a struggle over whether the party should respond by moving to the right or shifting to the left. The general election sharpened up the issues. Should Left Unity carry on as before, or join the ‘Corbyn revolution’, or become the party of ‘democratic revolution’?

A resolution from Birmingham says: “The ‘Corbyn revolution’ has for the foreseeable future closed the electoral space to the left of Labour.” It has “unleashed expectations which can’t be met within the confines of the existing structures of the Labour Party”. This will spill onto the streets, in campaigns and communities. Like a whirlpool, this ‘revolution’ is pulling LU down the plug. Continue reading “TWO REVOLUTIONS?”

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May 05 2016

WHAT’S BEHIND THE RIGHT’S ACCUSATIONS OF ‘ANTI-SEMITISM’

 

The British ruling class has been upset by a number of events beyond its control. The huge surge in those demanding Scottish independence and those who voted for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party have opened up politics beyond of the safe Conservative/Lib-Dem/New Labour pro-imperial, pro-Israel and pro-neoliberal consensus. This is the context in which  the ‘antisemitism’ smears directed against a number of people either on the Left or from a Muslim background are being pushed by the Conservatives, Labour Right and various Zionist organisations. These are being used in an attempt to close down political opposition to austerity, privatisation, war in the Middle East and the continued repression of Palestinians. This is an issue of much wider concern than Labour Party members. We are posting four articles, one a letter to The National, written by Sarah Glynn of RISE, two from Tony Greenstein. and one from Moshe Machover,  both socialists, anti-Zionists and antiracists. Tony has a blog dedicated to these ideas (http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk) (also see http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/). Moshe has recently spoken at the London Communist Forum and the Republican Socialist Alliance meeting in London.

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1. A LETTER FROM SARAH GLYNN TO THE NATIONAL

CONTRARY to the impression given in much of the media, many British Jews are extremely concerned at the on-going political manipulation of charges of anti-Semitism. This is a blatant and cynical attempt to tarnish Jeremy Corbyn and bring Labour back into the neo-liberal fold, and is part of an alarming growth in political exploitation of the “race card” more generally.
Continue reading “WHAT’S BEHIND THE RIGHT’S ACCUSATIONS OF ‘ANTI-SEMITISM’”

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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.
Continue reading “EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION no. 24”

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Dec 04 2014

EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION RIC 2014 conference special magazine

We are posting the two lead articles from Emancipation & Liberation, issue no. 23, produced for the 3000 strong Radical Independence Campaign conference held in Glasgow, in the Clydeside Auditorium on Saturday, November 22nd. The first is by Murdo Ritchie (RCN), the second by Allan Armstrong (RCN).

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WHEN DECADES HAPPEN – AFTER THE REFERENDUM

 

“There are decades in which nothing happens and there are weeks in which decades happen.” Lenin

When 1,517,989 voters (44.7%) declared they were prepared to abandon their primary, legal national identity to build a better Scotland, it was clear that Scottish national independence was coming. The defeated felt triumphant; the victorious worried.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement on the morning of the ballot declaration was filled with wishful thinking, “the debate has settled for a generation or as Alex Salmond has said, perhaps for a lifetime. So there can be no disputes, no re-runs –we have heard the settled will of the Scottish people.” The media may have declared the result decisive but the numbers and mood told otherwise.

Continue reading “EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION RIC 2014 conference special magazine”

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Nov 02 2014

EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION – RIC Special Bulletin, October, 2014

The following two articles are from the Emancipation & Liberation bulletin distributed at the RIC National Forum in Dundee on November 1st.

 

Federalism, Devo-Max  pull the other one!

Federalism, Devo-Max – Pull the other one!

LORD SMITH – A PILLAR OF THE BRITISH ESTABLISHMENT

If there had been a ‘Yes’ vote on September 18th, the current SNP government was going to use its electoral mandate, under the UK state’s devolved Holyrood rules, to bring Scottish unionist MSPs into its negotiations with Westminster. Meanwhile, the drawing up of any new Scottish constitution would have been left to the ‘unco guid’. In practical terms the SNP government acknowledges the anti-democratic principle of the sovereignty of Crown-in-Westminster, accentuated by their support for the monarchy, and hence the long arm of the state’s Crown Powers.

Continue reading “EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION – RIC Special Bulletin, October, 2014”

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Sep 03 2014

UP TO AND BEYOND THE SEPTEMBER 18th INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM – A socialist republican perspective

Allan Armstrong (RCN) has written an account of the Scottish independence campaign since the SNP launched its official ‘Yes Scotland’ campaign in 2012 up until the last two weeks before the September 18th referendum. This is based on several contributions Allan has already made on this blog. It is also a contemporary update of his historical piece, The Making and the Breaking of the UK State (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2012/01/11/internationalism-from-below-2/). This article also looks at the possibilities beyond September 18th.

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UP TO AND BEYOND THE SEPTEMBER 18th INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM – A socialist republican response

 

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a)                   The Scottish independence referendum – not an exercise by the UK of the right of self-determination

b)                   The SNP leadership’s strategy

c)                   Cameron’s strategy pushes Labour into the frontline of the defence of the Union in Scotland, whilst he controls things at a UK level

d)                   Attempts to widen the political base of support for the Union

e)                   The new challenge to social liberalism and the ‘New Unionist’ settlement from UKIP, the Tory Right, the Ulster Unionists and Loyalists

f)                    Enter the unexpected – a new movement from below

g)                   The lack of class confidence underpins both official campaigns and the inherited weaknesses of the Left affect RIC too

h)                  After September 18th

 

a)         The Scottish independence referendum – not an exercise by the UK of the right of self-determination

Continue reading “UP TO AND BEYOND THE SEPTEMBER 18th INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM – A socialist republican perspective”

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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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Feb 11 2014

‘JUST SAY NAW’ TO GALLOWAY’S SECTARIAN BRITISH UNIONISM

Bella caledonia posted an article by Richard Cameron (RCN and Edinburgh RIC) outlining the politics behind George Galloway’s Just Say Naw Scottish road tour (see http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/02/03/just-say-naw-to-galloways-sectarian-british-unionism/). Given the short time to write this article a number of errors appeared, none of which affected the overall arguments presented. However, Richard has now had time to correct these and to add an addendum, What is meant by communalism? The amended article is posted below, with thanks to all those who contributed.

This is followed by a report by on the Edinburgh Just Say Naw meeting held on February 3rd written by Allan Armstrong (RCN) for Edinburgh RIC . This was first posted on  posted at:- http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/report-of-galloway-roadshow-in-edinburgh.html

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1. JUST SAY NAW TO GALLOWAY’S SECTARIAN BRITISH UNIONISM

ARemember George the anti-Iraq war campaigner – look at his allies now

unjtitled-2With the Scottish independence referendum less than nine months away, George Galloway is bringing his ‘Just Say Naw’ roadshow to Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms on Monday February 3rd. A seat costs £10 a head – nothing comes cheap where ‘Gorgeous George’ is involved!

Galloway has been dining out on the Left for a long time since his triumph at the US Senate hearing, almost nine years ago, during the Iraq war. Whatever political differences others on the Left held then, we could all cheer his performance in front of such a smug, then thoroughly riled, bunch of war-mongering US politicians.

However, since then, it has been all downhill for Galloway as a credible Left politician. His Westminster election victories, won on a Left populist mix of Islamic communalism and Old Labourism, leave nothing solid behind. He only held the Bethnal Green and Bow seat from 2005 until 2010, and, in 2015, will almost certainly lose the Bradford West seat he won in the 2012 by-election. In Galloway’s own mind, this has no doubt been largely compensated by his financial gains for being an MP (albeit mostly absentee), from earlier substantial libel awards, from good earnings on the celebrity speaker circuit and, of course, from his cringe-worthy performance on Celebrity Big Brother.

Continue reading “‘JUST SAY NAW’ TO GALLOWAY’S SECTARIAN BRITISH UNIONISM”

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Dec 17 2013

AN EX-SOLDIER RESPONDS TO THE JAILING AND DISMISSAL OF PROTESTING SOLDIERS

The class-divided nature of the British Army is made very clear in the draconian treatment of fifteen soldiers jailed for staging a sit-in protest directed at senior officers in the Yorkshire Regiment (see article posted on BBC online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25313387).  Alan Boylan (RCN) is a former serviceman in the British Army and comments below on how such situations can develop. 

 

The Yorkshire Regiment on exercise in Kenya

The Yorkshire Regiment on exercise in Kenya

As an ex servicemen I was remind of my time in the forces being led by muppets. Troops don’t often get pissed off but usually when they do it’s around some incident that could be quite minor but affects them and their morale.

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Nov 26 2012

CRUEL BRITANNIA – SECRET HISTORY OF TORTURE

Tommy McKearney, former republican hunger striker and now activist with the Independent Workers Union in Ireland, has written the following review of  Ian Cobain’s book, Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture on his blog. 

Britain’s public and its government are currently devoting significant attention to the behaviour of the nation’s broadcast and print media. Both Parliament and the people are, understandably, concerned to ensure that the powerful Murdoch News Corporation and the equally influential BBC are conducting their affairs properly and with decency. The British people are entitled to know, and indeed demand, that newsgathering is done using correct procedures and that information relating to matters of public concern will be disseminated, whether or not it causes embarrassment to those in positions of power.

Ian Cobain

It would appear, however, that this commendable degree of scrutiny over Britain’s media does not extend to the country’s military and intelligence gathering services. Ian Cobain’s excellent new book, Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture, reveals with a well researched investigation, that Britain’s secret services supported by the military and authorised by successive governments have systematically used torture against enemy personnel and insurgents over many decades.

While Cobain has done an admirable job in providing ample evidence to support his assertion that torture was and continues to be a pillar of British security policy, this is not the most remarkable aspect of his book. It would be strange indeed if, having used torture in every field of conflict the UK has been engaged in since World War II, that there was an absence of such evidence. Cobain does indeed detail at length the sorry history of Britain’s use of torture but what his book also reveals is the astonishing lengths that British governments go to in order to deny and cover-up that which is so well known to its many victims (and the UK’s allies) across four continents.

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