Aug 20 2015

THE SECRET OF ITS WEAKNESS: RACISM AND THE WORKING CLASS MOVEMENT IN BRITAIN

We are posting this  review by Colin Barker (RS21) of Satnam Virdee‘s book Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider. This book is an important contribution to the debates around race and class. It was first published in the Spring 2015 issue of rs21 magazine. It can also be seen at:– http://rs21.org.uk/2015/03/21/the-secret-of-its-weakness-racism-and-the-working-class-movement-in-britain/

 

THE SECRET OF ITS WEAKNESS:

RACISM AND THE WORKING CLASS MOVEMENT IN BRITAIN

th-5 

Satnam Virdee has written an important book. It is a history of working-class struggles to win economic and social gains, and to gain access to democracy in Britain, viewed through the prism of ‘race’.

From the start, English and then British capitalism was founded on imperial expansion, drawing under its control large parts of the world, and ‘importing’ into its territory large numbers of people from the lands it conquered, colonised and robbed. Yet many accounts of British working class development are silent on the presence and the impact of migrants, their sufferings and resistance, and the vital ‘racial politics’ that shaped both the major waves of popular resistance and the troughs between them.
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Aug 11 2013

REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST ALLIANCE

Below is a report of the meeting of the Republican Socialist Alliance held in London on 6th July,  written by Steve Freeman. This includes a summary of the address given by Allan Armstrong (RCN) on the political implications of the unionist nature of the UK state. It is followed by the unedited version of this talk.

1. REPORT OF THE REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST ALLIANCE MEETING IN LONDON, 6.7.13

On 6 July the RSA organised its first day school on the theme of the national question in the UK with the main emphasis on England and Scotland and how the left could take up constitutional issues. Steve Freeman spoke about reinventing English identity. Allan Armstrong spoke about current developments in Scotland with the referendum next year. Corrina Lotz introduced a session on the aims of the ‘Agreement of the People’ campaign.

The first session was called “Remaking the English working class” as a reference to EP Thompson’s history of English working class. The left must “grasp the nettle” of the national question in England. England and Scotland are bound together in a political and constitutional union. The Scottish question (will Scotland become an independent state?) will come to a head in the 2014 referendum. The English question is the opposite side of the coin.
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