Nov 18 2020

FURTHER POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN IRELAND: NORTH AND SOUTH

We are posting the following two articles from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) in the current situation in Ireland, North and South.

 

1. STORMONT EXECUTIVE TAKES A RECKLESS TURN ON PANDEMIC

 

 

Arlene Foster and Edwin Poots, DUP

 

For a long time Stormont has stood as a byword for sectarianism, corruption and incompetence. Under the pressure of the coronavirus crisis these features of the political institutions have been elevated to new levels. The past six months has seen political leaders breach Covid regulations; parties retain support grants that were mistakenly paid into their bank accounts; advice from health officials rejected; the representatives of medical professionals subjected to personalised attacks; and a minister claim that one community was primarily responsible for the spread of the virus. However the goings on within the Stormont Executive last week, over whether to extend or relax Covid regulations, have manged to top all of that. If the situation wasn’t so serious it would be comical. Yet the decisions made by government do have consequences and what has been agreed upon this week is likely to have very severe consequences for public health. Continue reading “FURTHER POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN IRELAND: NORTH AND SOUTH”

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Nov 07 2020

THE BRITISH LEFT AND THE UK STATE

 

The British Left and the UK State, written by Allan Armstrong  can be found at:-

https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/british-left-uk-state-long-1-2.pdf

Below is an outline of the Contents and the concluding chapter addressing the need for a socialist republican ‘internationalism from below’ strategy to address the current challenges the Left faces

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THE BRITISH LEFT AND THE UK STATE

From the British Left’s ‘national exceptionalism’ during the ‘IndyRef1’campaign to acting as Left outriders for the UK state during the Brexit campaign

 

 

Contents

1. Introduction – the relationship between the UK state and the British Left
2. The challenge to British Left unionism represented by IndyRef1
3. From IndyRef1 in 2014 to the Euro-referendum in 2016 – the British Left begins to dig a hole for itself.
4. The Left Brexiteers, the 2015 Westminster general election, the 2016 Euro-referendum and on to the 2017 Westminster general election – giving succour to the Right Populist and Hard Right Brexit offensive
5. The CPB, SP(E&W) and SWP provide cover for McCluskey’s anti-democratic, ‘British jobs for British workers’, racist and Right accommodating Brexit
6. Two forces for possible future Socialist advances –Ian Allinson’s Grassroots Left election campaign for the UNITE general secretary and the appearance of Left Remain forces in the new Labour intake.
7. The growing ascendancy of the Hard Right and the final demise of Left Brexit in the December 12th general election
8. The Left Brexiteers export their Brexit illusions to Ireland
9. Conclusion – challenge the UK and partitioned Irish states, their ‘internationalism from above’ allies and the disunited Left’s ‘national ‘exceptionalism’ with a socialist republican ‘internationalism from below’ strategy

  Continue reading “THE BRITISH LEFT AND THE UK STATE”

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Oct 09 2020

BRITISH GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO BREAK INTERNATIONAL LAW – SO WHAT’S NEW?

 

BRITISH GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO BREAK INTERNATIONAL LAW – SO WHAT’S NEW?

 

Boris ties himself in knots over Withdrawal Deal

 

“For England, there is no alliance that holds, no treaty which is respected, no truth which matters.”
Charles de Gaulle in his memoirs

 

As the negotiations on a post Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU move into a critical period the British government have sought to up the ante by introducing a bill at Westminster that would allow it to renege on parts of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA).  A day prior to its introduction the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis stated quite clearly in the Commons that it would indeed “break international law” though only in “a very specific and limited way”.  This statement caused quite a stir.  Politicians and commentators were aghast that the government would contemplate such a course of action and risk tarnishing Britain’s reputation as an upholder of law.  Of course such a reputation only exists in their mythologised view of the UK rather than in reality.  As the quote from Charles de Gaulle at the head of this article indicates – Britain has a long history of duplicity in its dealings with other nations.  What caused offence was the bald manner in which it was stated on this occasion. Continue reading “BRITISH GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO BREAK INTERNATIONAL LAW – SO WHAT’S NEW?”

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Sep 09 2020

TRIBECA BELFAST

A story of corporate corruption and seizure of land and property could be told of virtually every city in the UK. The following article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) shows are this process takes place under the auspices of the bisectarian Belfast City Council. 

 

TRIBECA BELFAST

Brits Out!  – Unless they’re London developers and absentee landlords, in which case Brits very much in.

On Wednesday September 2nd, Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee passed a proposal for a new ‘Tribeca’ development – the largest property development in Britain and Ireland. The proposal was supported by the Democratic Unionist Party, the tag-along Progressive Unionist Party and Sinn Fein, despite a long history of public objection. All the other parties voted against. It will involve the demolition of much of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and the loss of public space, including Writers’ Square – the site of most local trade union rallies. Continue reading “TRIBECA BELFAST”

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Aug 15 2020

THE CASE FOR A  REPUBLICAN INTERNATIONALIST COALITION FOR  SCOTLAND’S INDEPENDENCE

THE CASE FOR A  REPUBLICAN INTERNATIONALIST COALITION FOR  SCOTLAND’S INDEPENDENCE

 

Banner made when Edinburgh RIC hosted the the national RIC contingent on the ‘All Under One Banner’ demonstration on 6.10.18

 

 

a. The Radical Independence Campaign

An examination of the wording of the initials and principles of the Radical Independence Campaign is instructive.

R = Radical, I = Independence, C = Campaign

Each one of these terms is ambiguous. Continue reading “THE CASE FOR A  REPUBLICAN INTERNATIONALIST COALITION FOR  SCOTLAND’S INDEPENDENCE”

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Aug 10 2020

LATEST POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN IRELAND – SOUTH AND NORTH

We are posting an update on the most recent political developments in the Dail and Stormont from Socialist Democracy (Ireland). 

 

1. DUBLIN GOVERNMENT SUPPRESSES THE PARLIAMENTARY LEFT – BUT EXACTLY WHO ARE THE LEFT?

 

  1. 33rd Irish Dail

     

The 33rd Irish Dail has demonstrated in spades just how unstable it is. Effectively a national government of opposing parties, held together by a Green Party glue, they stumbled in their first month with a faction fight inside Fianna Fail and the sacking of a minister.  More recently a Green Party TD resigned the whip to vote against limitations on a rent freeze while a Green minister abstained.

The plans for dealing with that instability were made clear on 30th July,  when new parliamentary speaking rules were introduced,  severely curtailing the rights of the smaller opposition parties and the Dail is now closing for the summer. Continue reading “LATEST POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN IRELAND – SOUTH AND NORTH”

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Jul 02 2020

STORMONT PUSHES BACK AGAINST ABORTION REGULATIONS

This article, first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland), examines a socially reactionary role of Stormont  over women’s abortion rights. 

STORMONT PUSHES BACK AGAINST ABORTION REGULATIONS

 

On the 2nd June  Stormont Assembly passed a DUP motion calling for the rejection of abortion law enacted at Westminster. A Sinn Fein amendment which solely dealt with abortions in cases of severe disability was defeated. While the vote has no effect on the laws the DUP claimed that it would send a message to Westminster that the regulations are not supported by Stormont. Continue reading “STORMONT PUSHES BACK AGAINST ABORTION REGULATIONS”

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Apr 22 2020

COVID-19 PANDEMIC CRACKS FACADE OF UNITY AT STORMONT

Much has been made of the UK government’s ‘4 nations’ approach in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Sunday Times  article exposed both  Covid’s 19’s  secondary concern (after a ‘No Deal Brexit) for Johnson and the Tories’ deliberate winding down of NHS preparations for pandemics.  In the face of this, the  supposedly ‘4 nations’ UK response  has been showing signs of  falling apart. Nicola Sturgeon has already made a political pivot to distance herself from the earlier SNP government approach along these lines.  We are posting this article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) showing  the impact of  the UK state in Northern Ireland in  Stormont Executive’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

COVID-19 PANDEMIC CRACKS FACADE OF UNITY AT STORMONT

 

 

The declarations of a new found approach and unity of purpose that accompanied the restoration of the Stormomt Executive in January have quickly given way to the well worn rhetoric and operating methods that accounted for the demise of its predecessor.  In early 2017, it was the  “Cash for Ash” scandal that was the immediate cause of the collapse of devolved institutions that had been in a state of decay for a long time.  Today, it is the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that is exposing divisions within the Executive and highlighting the underlying weakness of the political institutions! Continue reading “COVID-19 PANDEMIC CRACKS FACADE OF UNITY AT STORMONT”

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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/2020/06/socialists-and-december-12th-election.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 22 2020

GENERAL ELECTION: PODEMOS COMES TO IRELAND

We are posting the following article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) about the outcome of the Irish general election held on February 8th

 

GENERAL ELECTION: PODEMOS COMES TO IRELAND

 

 

Sinn Fein were expected to do well in the recent Irish general election. In the event they topped the poll, reviving the old call Tiocfaidh ár lá! (Our day will come), and brought chaos to the Irish governmental system.

However if we take a step back we see many other examples across Europe of emergent parties coming to power and promising an end to austerity, only to move to the right – Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece and many others. Podemos has come to Ireland, but it is a long road from here to the Worker’s Republic. Continue reading “GENERAL ELECTION: PODEMOS COMES TO IRELAND”

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