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

_____________

 

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”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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?”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Jun 13 2020

ONE MAN’S TERRORIST

Connor Beaton reviews One Man’s Terrorist by Dan Finn. This first appeared in Red Pepper.

 

 

ONE MAN’S TERRORIST – A POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE IRA

When the Irish government announced plans earlier this year to host a special commemorative event for members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) who were killed in the War of Independence, the backlash was immediate and spectacular. Having seized the initiative on the centenary of the Easter Rising just a few short years earlier, marking it with an extensive programme of high-profile, state-backed events and initiatives, ministers now scored a remarkable own goal and found themselves charged with apologism for British colonial violence in Ireland. Hurried clarifications and part-denials from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan failed to stop ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ from rocketing to the top of the Irish charts off the back of a spirited online campaign, and new cracks began to appear in an already fragile governing coalition between Fine Gael and the eclectic bunch of independent politicians in cabinet with them. Continue reading “ONE MAN’S TERRORIST”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Jan 26 2020

NEW DECADE, NEW APPROACH – WELCOME TO BACKSTOP COUNTRY

E&L are posting this link about the reconstitution of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly. It was first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland). 

 

NEW DECADE, NEW APPROACH – WELCOME TO BACKSTOP COUNTRY

 

 

The New Decade, New Approach document restoring the local executive in the North of Ireland marks a return of the Orwellian doublespeak of the novel 1984.

New Approach is in reality the same old tired formula of bribing Unionist bigots and bribing and strong-arming a corrupt Sinn Fein in to cobbling together another forced coalition. The idea that this will last for a new decade is the wildest fantasy for a process that has been in a state of ongoing collapse since the Good Friday Agreement was signed. This latest iteration is so dysfunctional that neither Sinn Fein nor the DUP would own it. While being driven on by their fear of the only alternative, fighting an election, they reluctantly mutter their conditional support and assure their members that they can change it later once it is launched by the British and Irish governments. The forced agreement was followed by immediate convocation of the Assembly in an attempt to move on rapidly before any awkward questions could be asked.  Continue reading “NEW DECADE, NEW APPROACH – WELCOME TO BACKSTOP COUNTRY”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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 Irish 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”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Apr 15 2019

BRITISH GOVERNMENT EXPANDS POWERS IN THE NORTH

The following article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) highlights the impact of the reactionary unionism in Northern Ireland.  The Good Friday Agreement,  with its official  recognition of Unionists and Nationalists in a reformed Stormont, acted as liberal mask for the continued sectarian order in Northern Ireland. This placed the UK government in the position of ‘neutral’ arbiter, the better to ensure its continued rule. With the DUP now in alliance with May’s post-Brexit vote Conservative government, reactionary unionists see no need to maintain the liberal facade. Growing UK centralisation of power was always a central feature of Brexit, and its implications are not confined to Ireland.

 

 

BRITISH GOVERNMENT EXPANDS POWERS IN THE NORTH

A common myth regarding the northern state is that it has been without a government since the Stormont Assembly and executive collapsed in early 2017.  Accompanying this is the claim every that every ill in society (from sectarian intimidation to a failing health service) is down to (or at the very least made worse) by the absence of devolved government.  What usually follows from this is a call for Stormont to be restored as a means to bring about some improvement.  This is a call that is made unambiguously and unconditionally by the trade unions. It is also a call that is made by the left groups (albeit dressed up in rhetoric about fighting austerity or securing civil rights). The underlying assumptions here are that the political institutions brought into existence by the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) can shield the working class to some degree or even be a vehicle for reforms. Continue reading “BRITISH GOVERNMENT EXPANDS POWERS IN THE NORTH”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Feb 19 2019

BREXIT AND WHAT IT MEANS IN IRELAND

The E&L blog  has been reporting the situation in Ireland since we started up. However, during  current Brexit negotiations , the  ‘backstop’ has pushed the issue of Northern Ireland to the fore. We are publishing two articles which share a lot in common in their analysis of Ireland, but which offer differing perspectives on the role of the EU. The first is written by David Jamieson and first appeared on the Commonspace blog. The second is written by Allan Armstrong and forms the seventh chapter of his new pamphlet From Blatcherism to Maybynism.

 

_____________

  1. ANALYSIS – MICRO-POLITICS ISN’T ENOUGH – WE MUST ADDRESS

THE  PARTITION OF IRELAND

 

Debates around the UK border in Ireland and the so called ‘backstop’ bring the crisis elements of the British state into sharper focus. Continue reading “BREXIT AND WHAT IT MEANS IN IRELAND”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Next Page »