May 11 2015

‘NONE OF THE ABOVE’ AND ‘ABANDON THE MIND-FORG’D MANACLES’

Jim Slaven of the James Connolly Society in None of the Above calls upon socialists and republicans to have a closer look at the nature and record of the SNP. This was first posted at:- http://107cowgate.com/2015/05/05/none-of-the-above/

Murdo Ritchie (RCN ) in his Abandon the Mind-forg’d Manacles offers an alternative analysis of the rise of the SNP.

 

1. NONE OF THE ABOVE

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None of the above? This is the question I’ve been asking myself for the last few weeks. Or perhaps more accurately for the last few years. Having never been a member of a political party, I’m what pollsters call a floating voter. Granted, as someone who has been a political activist for nearly 30 years, I might not be the stereotypical floating voter but nonetheless I have no tribal loyalty to any political party.
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Sep 21 2014

Scotland out of NATO

Eric Chester reports on recent developments in the Scottish peace movement

The Trident missiles armed with Nuclear warheads located at Faslane Naval Base have become a flashpoint for Scottish activists. One of the few specific pledges made by Alex Salmond and the SNP during the referendum campaign was a commitment that no nuclear weapons would be based in an independent Scotland. The SNP was responding to a popular campaign that has continued for decades and has seen repeated efforts to block the base through mass actions of non-violent civil disobedience.

As socialists, we need to join with others in the effort to pressure the UK government to remove the Trident missiles from Faslane, as we seek to convince the peace movement to widen the focus of its actions to include a call for a nuclear weapons free Scotland and a demand that Scotland withdraw from NATO.

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Sep 19 2014

MESSAGE FROM EDINBURGH RIC TO THE ‘GO FOR IT SCOTLAND’ RALLY IN CARDIFF ON SEPTEMBER 13th

The Radical Independence Campaign was asked to send a message to the ‘Go For It Scotland’ Rally in Cardiff on September 13th. Edinburgh RIC took on the responsibility for this, and the following statement was agreed at the Edinburgh RIC branch on September 8th.

 

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Leanne Wood addressing ‘Scotland Go For It’ rally in Cardiff

Thanks and greetings to the organisers and those attending this Welsh rally for Scottish independence. People from Wales have already been up to Scotland to help the ‘Yes’ campaign. On July 22nd, Leanne Wood made very stirring speech of solidarity to a Radical Independence Campaign meeting in Glasgow.

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Sep 03 2014

UP TO AND BEYOND THE SEPTEMBER 18th INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM – A socialist republican perspective

Allan Armstrong (RCN) has written an account of the Scottish independence campaign since the SNP launched its official ‘Yes Scotland’ campaign in 2012 up until the last two weeks before the September 18th referendum. This is based on several contributions Allan has already made on this blog. It is also a contemporary update of his historical piece, The Making and the Breaking of the UK State (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2012/01/11/internationalism-from-below-2/). This article also looks at the possibilities beyond September 18th.

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UP TO AND BEYOND THE SEPTEMBER 18th INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM – A socialist republican response

 

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a)                   The Scottish independence referendum – not an exercise by the UK of the right of self-determination

b)                   The SNP leadership’s strategy

c)                   Cameron’s strategy pushes Labour into the frontline of the defence of the Union in Scotland, whilst he controls things at a UK level

d)                   Attempts to widen the political base of support for the Union

e)                   The new challenge to social liberalism and the ‘New Unionist’ settlement from UKIP, the Tory Right, the Ulster Unionists and Loyalists

f)                    Enter the unexpected – a new movement from below

g)                   The lack of class confidence underpins both official campaigns and the inherited weaknesses of the Left affect RIC too

h)                  After September 18th

 

a)         The Scottish independence referendum – not an exercise by the UK of the right of self-determination

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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  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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Feb 12 2014

THE SNP AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

Eric Chester (RCN) outlines some of the problems that the SNP government’s White Paper Independence-Lite proposals would pose for genuine Scottish self-determination.

Matin Carney, Governor of the Bank of England outlines Scotland's future financial and fiscal subjection under  sterling

Matin Carney, Governor of the Bank of England outlines Scotland’s future financial and fiscal subjection under sterling

As the referendum campaign unfolds, it becomes increasingly obvious that Alex Salmond and the SNP have no interest in a truly independent Scotland. Instead, a ‘yes’ vote is a vote to authorize Salmond to engage in a series of confidential negotiations that will strip an allegedly ‘independent’ Scotland of much of its powers, while binding it as a subordinate entity to the UK, the United States and the European Union. This underlying reality has become even clearer after the recent debates concerning the sterling zone and the Bank of England.

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Aug 02 2013

BEHIND THE UNIONISTS’ ‘PROJECT FEAR’, THE UK STATE MASK SLIPS

Allan Armstrong (RCN) analyses two recent developments in the Scottish referendum campaign .

 

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The SNP government’s referendum on the future constitutional status of Scotland – ‘Yes’ for ‘Independence-Lite’ (or as Michael Russell terms it ‘Independence within the Union’), or ‘No’ for acceptance of the UK status quo – is still over a year away.

However, two events have occurred recently, which have considerable bearing on the conduct of the referendum campaign. It has been revealed that behind the scenes, some organisers of the mainstream unionist Labour/Conservative/Lib-Dem ‘Better Together’ alliance have dubbed their campaign ‘Project Fear’. Furthermore, the Guardian has reported that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been looking to ways of designating the Faslane Trident base sovereign UK territory, in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote. Faslane would become, in effect, Scotland’s own Guantamamo Bay.

This article examines the significance of these two events for socialists. Right from the start, ‘Yes’ campaigners have, with much justification, styled ‘Better Together’ the ‘No’ campaign, because of its overwhelming negative approach. Hardly a day passes without us being told about some new disaster that will occur, if people in Scotland dare to vote ‘Yes’. Therefore, the revelation that the main drive behind the ‘No’ campaign is ‘Project Fear’ is not that surprising, although somewhat embarrassing for its organisers.
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Oct 31 2012

SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: SHAM OR GENUINE?

Eric Chester argues that support for Scottish self-determination, which has informed RCN policy on Scotland’s independence, is not relevant and that a more pragmatic approach should be taken to decide whether or not to support independence. Eric also warns Socialists about the considerable dangers involved in supporting EU membership for Scotland.

Socialists have always been wary of the pitfalls of nationalism, even the nationalism of an oppressed people. Socialists have always emphasized the vital necessity of international working class solidarity, and yet nationalism presupposes a bond that cuts across class lines.

The issue is not one of the right of self-determination. There can be no doubt that the people of Scotland have the right to separate themselves from the United Kingdom. Indeed, even Westminster concedes that right, at least in theory. As socialists, we uphold the right of Scotland to become an independent state. The question is not whether a vote on Scottish independence should be binding, but whether we, as socialists, should advocate a ‘yes’ vote.

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