Oct 18 2016

20th EDINBURGH INDEPENDENT RADICAL BOOK FAIR, 26-30.10.16

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20th EDINBURGH INDEPENDENT RADICAL BOOK FAIR, 26-30.10.16

 

Wednesday, October 26th

19.00

JAMES KELMAN opens the 20th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair and reads from Dirt Road with live music from the The Dirt Roadsters

21:00

Loud Poets present Rhyme Minister’s Questions

Thursday, October 27th

16.45

ROB SEWELL discusses the latest edition of Leon Trotsky’s Stalin

18.00

SHIRLEY YOUNG and NATHAN GALE launch and discuss She, He, They: Families, Gender and Coping with Transition

19.00

YAKOV M. RABKIN discusses What is Modern Israel?

20.15

TAM DEAN BURN and MEAGHAN DELAHUNT

20:30

ROBIN McALPINE discusses Determination: How Scotland Can Become Independent by 2021

 

Friday, October 28th

15.00

FILM SCREENING – Every Cook Can Govern: The life, impact & works of C.L.R. James

18.00

Writing Politics: An Event with IRISH PAGES

20.00

CONOR McCARTHY and KIRSTY LUSK discuss James Connolly: Revolutionary and Anti-imperialist

Saturday, October 29th

10.00

RICHARD MURPHY, LESLEY RIDDOCH and ANDY WIGHTMAN discuss Creating a Just Scotland: Transforming Our Land and Taxation Policies

12.30

LUKE HARDING discusses Putin’s Polonium Plot

14.00

KAT BANYARD discusses Pimp State: Sex, Money and the Future of Equality

15.30

IAN COBAIN, author of The History Thieves, and LUKE HARDING, author of A Very Expensive Poison

17.00

OWEN HATHERLEY discusses his latest book, The Chaplin Machine: Slapstick, Fordism and the Communist Avant-Garde

18.30

CHERRY STYLES launches Gut Flora: A Chapess Zine Collection

19.30

MIKE SMALL and SIMON BARROW facilitate a panel discussion for the launch of Scotland 2021

20.45

Book launch of Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry

 

Sunday, October 30th

10.45

ROBBIE NICOL and KATE RAWLES discuss climate change by Canoe, Sea Kayak and Bike

12.15

EM STRANG launches her poetry collection, Bird-Woman

13.00

STUART COSGROVE discusses Detroit 67 and Young Soul Rebels

14.30

PAUL MacALINDIN, author of Upbeat and JOYCE McMILLAN, author of Theatre in Scotland

16.00

MADELEINE BUNTING in conversation with RICHARD HOLLOWAY

 

see http://www.word-power.co.uk/viewEventList.php?category_id=1

 

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Apr 20 2015

REPUBLICANISM AND DEMOCRACY

Allan Armstrong (RCN) was invited to speak on Republicanism and Democracy  at the Assembly for Democracy event in Glasgow on Saturday, April 11th. He gave an update of the talk at the first Radical Independence Conference in Glasgow in November 2012 (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2012/11/15/genuine-self-determination-means-acting-as-republicans-now/

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Allan Armstrong speaking at the Glasgow Assembly for Democracy

 

Most of the discussions today we have been having today have been about bringing democracy into our own campaigns and developing an opposition to the ongoing British ruling class offensive.

However, as one contributor to the debate has already said, ‘democracy’ is one of the most promiscuous terms to be found in politics. Indeed, the British ruling class likes to claim that “Westminster is the mother of parliaments”, with the implication that it represents a deeply rooted democratic tradition. So it is worth taking a closer look at this Westminster, based on the political notion of the ‘Crown in parliament’.
Continue reading “REPUBLICANISM AND DEMOCRACY”

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Nov 26 2012

CRUEL BRITANNIA – SECRET HISTORY OF TORTURE

Tommy McKearney, former republican hunger striker and now activist with the Independent Workers Union in Ireland, has written the following review of  Ian Cobain’s book, Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture on his blog. 

Britain’s public and its government are currently devoting significant attention to the behaviour of the nation’s broadcast and print media. Both Parliament and the people are, understandably, concerned to ensure that the powerful Murdoch News Corporation and the equally influential BBC are conducting their affairs properly and with decency. The British people are entitled to know, and indeed demand, that newsgathering is done using correct procedures and that information relating to matters of public concern will be disseminated, whether or not it causes embarrassment to those in positions of power.

Ian Cobain

It would appear, however, that this commendable degree of scrutiny over Britain’s media does not extend to the country’s military and intelligence gathering services. Ian Cobain’s excellent new book, Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture, reveals with a well researched investigation, that Britain’s secret services supported by the military and authorised by successive governments have systematically used torture against enemy personnel and insurgents over many decades.

While Cobain has done an admirable job in providing ample evidence to support his assertion that torture was and continues to be a pillar of British security policy, this is not the most remarkable aspect of his book. It would be strange indeed if, having used torture in every field of conflict the UK has been engaged in since World War II, that there was an absence of such evidence. Cobain does indeed detail at length the sorry history of Britain’s use of torture but what his book also reveals is the astonishing lengths that British governments go to in order to deny and cover-up that which is so well known to its many victims (and the UK’s allies) across four continents.

Continue reading “CRUEL BRITANNIA – SECRET HISTORY OF TORTURE”

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Nov 15 2012

GENUINE SELF-DETERMINATION MEANS ACTING AS REPUBLICANS NOW

Allan Armstrong will be introducing the workshop on Republicanism at the Radical Independence Conference in Glasgow on November 24th, along with Neil Davidson of the SWP, Graham McIver of Solidarity, and a speaker from Republic Scotland. He has been asked by the conference organisers to prepare an outline of his talk, so that those attending are better prepared for the workshop discussions. Here is Allan’s contribution. The full list of workshops and other conference arrangements can be found at:- http://radicalindependence.org/

The Left’s usual approach to the monarchy

Most people understand a republic to be a state without a monarch. When socialists are asked why they oppose the British monarchy, they usually concentrate their criticism on the antiquated class structure this upholds; and the high cost of maintaining such a parasitic institution, especially now the rest of us face austerity.

However, the UK is a constitutional monarchy [1]. This means the queen exerts little power in her own rightThe fragility of royal political influence was shown over the Windsors’ inept handling of the ‘Princess Di Affair’ in 1997. Yes, the royal family enjoys obscene privileges in terms of property, income and status, but these are rewards given for its role in supporting and promoting the interests of a wider British ruling class.

Far more important than the royal family itself, is the political system it fronts.  Despite the existence of a parliamentary democracy centred on Westminster, with its devolved offspring at Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont, we still face very real political constraints.  These lie in the state’s profoundly anti-democratic Crown Powers.

Continue reading “GENUINE SELF-DETERMINATION MEANS ACTING AS REPUBLICANS NOW”

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