Jul 02 2020

THE CRISIS OF THE LABOUR PARTY

Steve Freeman takes a different view if  the crisis in the British Labour Party from the views taken  by the British Left. Steve relates the crisis in the Labour Party to the ongoing collapse of the post-1945  UK’s social monarchist welfare state. 

 

THE CRISIS IN THE LABOUR PARTY

              

I want to begin with a nursery rhyme which sums up the character of the present political stage we are living through.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again

This is in original a civil war story about the royalist army having a very big cannon – called Humpty Dumpty – sitting on a wall before being knocked out by the parliamentary forces, such that all the kings horses etc. couldn’t fix it.

.I am going to discuss the Report of Labour Together – the 2019 Election Review’(RLT). We are discussing the situation before Covid 19 or Black Lives Matter. These are the immediate issues that are at the front of our minds today. Why go back over the ‘ancient’ history of a Labour defeat best forgotten? The answer is we can learn a considerable amount about the state of peoples’ views or political consciousness, as expressed through England’s two-party system, and revealed in their voting behaviour in December 2019. This ‘moment’ was a mass event with millions of participants and therefore worthy of critical analysis. Continue reading “THE CRISIS OF THE LABOUR PARTY”

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Jun 14 2020

COVID-19 -JOHNSON’S CRIMINAL INCOMPETENCE

 Eddie Ford (CPGB-WW) argues that by global standards the UK government’s handling of the pandemic has been appalling.

 

COVID-19 -JOHNSON’S CRIMINAL INCOMPETENCE

 

After Brexit, the UK takes the lead in Europe

 

Last week we reached the grim milestone of 40,000 officially certified deaths from Covid-19. Given that at the start of the pandemic there was talk of 20,000 being a “good result”, this is a shameful statistic for a supposedly ‘first world’ country. Continue reading “COVID-19 -JOHNSON’S CRIMINAL INCOMPETENCE”

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Jun 08 2020

BREXIT HASN’T GONE AWAY – THE VIEW FROM IRELAND

This article first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland)  highlights the continuing relevance of Brexit to the British ruling class national populist strategy to attack the working class, and to continued inability of the the British Labour leadership now under Sir Keith Starmer to counter this.

 

The only alternative to Brexit – a Trump dictated trade deal

 

BREXIT HASN’T GONE AWAY – A pandemic of repression is on its way

After months of silence Brexit has returned to the headlines. It’s sudden reappearance runs alongside a realisation that nothing has been done, and that a deadline of June 30th is rapidly approaching without any progress. The signs are that a slow motion car crash is taking place and that Britain is falling out of the European Union without any agreement. Continue reading “BREXIT HASN’T GONE AWAY – THE VIEW FROM IRELAND”

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May 11 2020

IDEOLOGY AND SCIENCE

In the political  climate since the 2008 Financial Crisis and now with  the Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a marked increase on anti-science thinking. Whilst particularly prevalent on the Far Right, such thinking has spread far wider. Thus article, first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland), examines this phenomenon in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

IDEOLOGY AND SCIENCE

Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Advisor

 

It has been reported by the Sunday Times newspaper that Sir David King a former Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government is to set up an alternative scientific advisory group to the current one. The alternative advisory group are to go online with their recommendations and conduct open access conversations with the best scientists willing to participate in democratic debate, mainly on YouTube. The former scientific adviser says his patience has finally run out with how things are being handled by the existing Government SAGE committee. He points out that the current group is not acting as others did in the recent past, it is pledged to offer independent scientific advice but how can it do that when political watchdogs like Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s principal political advisor, are participating members of the SAGE panel:-

‘Dominic Cummings is a political advisor to the PM, and the chief scientific officer is an advisor to the PM, and I think this is very dangerous for only one of them really understands the science.’ Continue reading “IDEOLOGY AND SCIENCE”

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Mar 26 2020

FIGHTING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

We are posting two responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first is from Trade unionists, health workers, independence supporters and community activists in Scotland. The second is from Socialist Democracy in Ireland.

 

1. 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.” Continue reading “FIGHTING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC”

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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/2020/06/right-populism-2.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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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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