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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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 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 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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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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Nov 04 2019

BREXIT MARK 2 – BORIS DISPELS THE FOG TO REVEAL CLASS WAR – an Irish perspective

Many both on the Left and amongst the Irish and Scottish nationalists have welcomed the break between the Tories and the DUP, following Boris Johnson’s perceived cave in before the EU, over the border. They believe that the road to Iris reunification is now open. This article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) argues from a much more cautionary stance.

 

BREXIT MARK 2 – BORIS DISPELS THE FOG TO REVEAL CLASS WAR

– an Irish perspective

 

Boris addresses DUP conference during his now abandoned ‘No Surrender’ days.

 

Over the years of the  Brexit campaign the Tory leadership have been careful to avoid any explanation of the goals of the project. One element,  anti-migrant sentiment and racism, was already in progress following Theresa May’s former leadership of the Home office. For the rest, democracy was defined as never questioning the thin majority of the Brexit vote. For May, “Brexit means Brexit”. Johnston’s mantra was “get it done”. Now the proposals put forward by Boris Johnson are finally beginning to clarify the details of the class divisions on which the process is built. Continue reading “BREXIT MARK 2 – BORIS DISPELS THE FOG TO REVEAL CLASS WAR – an Irish perspective”

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Oct 22 2019

THE CONTRADICTIONS UNDERLYING BREXIT AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

Allan Armstrong sent  this article to Conter, on September 13th, hoping  to open up one of the debates on the Left in relation to Scottish independence, before and during the Radical Independence Campaign conference in Glasgow on October 26th. There has been no acknowledgement of this article by the Conter editor, despite Allan being a member of RISE, Conter‘s main sponsor. This seems to reflect a unwillingness, highlighted at the founding of RISE, to discuss controversial  issues.

However, since then articles have appeared in Conter, or by RISE members writing for CommonSpace, which have been pro-Lexit. Allan’s article was written in an attempt to ensure that a fuller range of Left opinion was addressed on a specifically Socialist site claiming  to promote wider debate. This could then contribute to  the best traditions of RIC, where such controversial issues have been openly debated. A Left that is afraid to debate issues, in a democratic and respectful manner, is doomed to irrelevance.

Fortunately, both Socialist Resistance (http://socialistresistance.org/the-contradictions-underlying-brexit-and-scottish-independence/18211) and bella caledonia (https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2019/10/24/republican-internationalism-from-below/) have now posted this article. 

 

THE CONTRADICTIONS UNDERLYING BREXIT AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

 

To date articles in Conter addressing Brexit have concentrated more on the neo-liberal opposition, and those on the Left perceived to be tail-ending this section of the British ruling class. There has been no real analysis of the aims of the hard right and national populist advocates of Brexit, whether the Boris Johnson-led Tories, or the Nigel Farage-led UKIP and now his Brexit Party. Brexit  has not been adequately placed in the context of the global rise of right national populism, highlighted by Donald Trump’s ‘Brexit, plus, plus, plus’, US presidential electoral victory in November 2016.[1] These people are still seen by some on the Left as political outsiders, despite now having their hands  on the US state’s anti-democratic presidential powers and the UK state’s anti-democratic crown powers. Nor have the machinations of such ‘left’ Brexit union leaders as UNITE’s Len McCluskey been addressed.[2]

 

The RIC conference on 26.10.19

The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) has formed an important arena for discussing such issues.[3] Indeed RIC’s Scottish internationalism is highlighted on its banner – ‘Another Scotland is Possible; Another Europe is Possible; Another World is Possible’. Hopefully, the October 26th RIC conference in Glasgow will extend this opportunity for discussion related to the situation we now face. Understanding the political forces, which the Left is up against, is essential, not only in the UK and wider world, but for us in Scotland, when we consider the future for Scottish independence. Continue reading “THE CONTRADICTIONS UNDERLYING BREXIT AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE”

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Sep 02 2019

REPUBLICANS ADDRESS THE ‘NO TO THE COUP’ DEMOS IN DUNDEE AND EDINBURGH ON AUGUST 31st

On Saturday 31st August demonstrations were held throughout the UK to protest at ‘Boris’s coup’. Mary MacGregor addressed the rally held in Dundee. Allan Armstrong addressed the rally held in Edinburgh.

 

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Speech by Mary MacGregor

 

Comrades and friends,

We are living through extraordinary times. We live in a time where children go hungry, where the poor go to food banks to get by, where  many live in despair and succumb to addiction, where mental health problems have reached epidemic proportions and where we are ruled over by a privileged, unelected elite. Continue reading “REPUBLICANS ADDRESS THE ‘NO TO THE COUP’ DEMOS IN DUNDEE AND EDINBURGH ON AUGUST 31st”

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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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