May 11 2015

AFTER MAY 7th

Emancipation & Liberation will be posting a series of responses to the new political situation after May 7th. The first comes from Murdo Ritchie (RCN), the second from World to Win.

 

1. MOVING WITH THE FLOW

 

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Never have so many nations been divided by a common government. The glaringly obvious result when Scotland voted 56 of its 59 MPs, is similar to Wales where the Labour Party won. The Unionist alliance in Northern Ireland also won, but although this may seem like a continuation of the Tory party it resembles the nationalist parties in their lust for more Westminster cash, even condemning the so-called “bedroom tax”. The Tories won almost the entire South of England removing the Liberal Democrats almost completely from the West Country.
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Jun 24 2014

LABOUR AND SOCIALIST LEFT UNIONISM IN THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE DEBATE

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Allan Armstrong (RCN) prepared a talk for the Conference of Socialist Economists Day School held in the Out of the Blue Centre in Edinburgh on June 21st. The article below also incorporates some of the discussion points that were raised. It provides a socialist republican analysis of the British Left and the case for an ‘internationalism from below’ alternative in the Scottish independence referendum campaign.  This talk is also a chapter in the extended article, Making Plans For Nigel, which can be viewed at:- http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/06/26/making-plans-for-nigel/ A shortened version of this talk was also given as a contribution to the debate in the Left Unity Party – Glasgow South branch,  on December 13th.

 

On the British Left, continued support for maintaining the UK state and for upholding the internationalist nature of all-British party and trade union organisation stems from their understanding of the British ruling class and the United Kingdom. They view these as having played a key historical role in replacing the older feudal order in these islands, and other pre-capitalist societies in many parts of the world.

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Apr 01 2014

25 YEARS SINCE THE POLL TAX: 1 YEAR SINCE THE ‘BEDROOM TAX’

Today, April Fools Day, RIC supporters handed out the leaflet below on the streets of Scotland. The 25th anniversary of the poll tax also provides an opportunity to provide a link to the article written by Allan Armstrong (RCN), Chair of Lothian Anti-Poll Tax Federation, for Red Banner, on the 20th anniversary of the tax.

 

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20 Years after the Anti-Poll Tax: Lessons for the Anti-Cuts Movement

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http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2011/05/27/20-years-after-the-poll-tax-lessons-for-the-anti-cuts-movement/

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May 09 2013

WOMEN AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

Alicia Arquera, a member of the International Socialist Group, gave this Introduction to a discussion on Women and Independence at the Edinburgh branch of the Radical Independence Campaign on April 29th. 

I just wanted to start by saying that I am pleased I am to have been asked to speak this evening on women and independence. I’ve been involved in the radical independence campaign since the conference of last year, and during that time I’ve felt slightly disheartened by the lack of discussion of issues that face women and the role of women in the campaign. Little discussion has been had on what a radical vision for Scotland could do for women’s liberation. But hopefully this evening we will outline some of the issues that need to be considered when thinking of a progressive Scotland.

My name is Alicia Arquera and I work as a support worker for women in the criminal justice system. I am not going to sit here and say that I am speaking for all women. I recognize that my reality is a different reality to a woman that is sitting in a three bedroomed council house in Craigmillar worrying about the bedroom tax, or a woman that is accepting minimum wage working as a care assistant in Leith.

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Apr 16 2013

The Bedroom Tax in Northern Ireland

This article on the ‘Bedroom Tax’ in Northern Ireland comes from eirigi. Several parallels (some erroneous and some useful) have been drawn between the ‘Bedroom Tax’ and the Poll Tax. However, even Thatcher’s Tory government never tried to introduce the Poll Tax into Northern Ireland in the context of the Republican struggle there. Today, the UK government feels more confident. This only re-emphasises a most important feature of the successful Anti-Poll Tax campaign – the necessity to organise on an ‘internationalism from below’ basis.  

BEDROOM TAX A PUNITIVE ATTACK ON THE POOR

Fond memories of Thatcher on the Falls Road - where at least there was no Poll Tax!

Fond memories of Thatcher on the Falls Road – where at least there was no Poll Tax!

Next month, as Stormont starts to debate the Welfare Reform Bill, thousands of families in Housing Executive homes or renting from housing associations in the Six Counties face the bleak prospect of losing a substantial portion of their housing benefit if their home is deemed to be “under-occupied”, with only one bedroom allowed for each couple or individual over 16.

More than 32,000 households stand to be affected by this ‘bedroom tax’. Contrary to the impression being created by proponents of this scheme, the vast majority of the homes affected are “under-occupied” by just one bedroom.

The Six Counties already faces a growing housing crisis with almost 35,000 applicants on the social housing waiting list.

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Mar 26 2013

Allan Armstrong (RCN) replies to David Jamieson (ISG) – part 1

David Jamieson of the International Socialist Group has replied to two contributions made by Allan Armstrong of the Republican Communist Network (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2013/01/23/david-jamieson-of-the-the-isg-replies-to-allan-armstrong/). These took a critical look at ISG member, James Foley’s pamphlet, Britain Must Break, and examined the prospects for the Radical Independence Campaign, and the role of the ISG within it, following from  the successful conference held last November 24th in Glasgow. The RCN very much welcomes the ISG’s preparedness to enter into such debates in a considered and fraternal manner. 

There are a number of elements to David’s reply, which will be dealt with separately. However, the most immediate difference  arises over how the RIC should organise. Once some of David’s misunderstandings about what the RCN proposes are cleared up, then it may be possible to  agree on the  democratic form of organisation we all require. This could help  the ISG, RCN and other participants move the RIC forwards  to a higher political synthesis,  using people’s  varied contributions  and experiences. In doing so, the RIC would break with the sectarianism and opportunism which has characterised so much of the Left’s practice up until now. The current crisis in the SWP highlights the necessity for this.

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