Feb 24 2015

PROMOTING REPUBLICANISM

Murdo Ritchie (RCN) wrote the following article for  supporters of the Republican Socialist alliance. It was first also posted on Murdo’s blog  at  http://murdoritchie.blog.co.uk/2015/02/13/promoting-republicanism-20090169/.

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PROMOTING REPUBLICANISM

Thomas Paine - republican internationalist in England, USA and France

Thomas Paine – republican internationalist in England, USA and France

The advocacy of socialist republicanism has very few precedents in the United Kingdom. While many organisations can make claims to republicanism, in most cases this has been rarely developed and has often seemed like it was added on as an extra to more immediately pressing concerns. It should be no real surprise that an anti-political, economic reductionism (economism), or a separatism that sought an end to London rule, and many other perspectives have used the term emptying it of any real understanding or meaning.

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Nov 27 2014

A CONSTITUTION FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

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Steve Freeman is the convenor of the Constitutional Commission of the Left Unity Party (LUP). As a member of the Scottish Republican Yes Tendency, disbanded after September 18th, Steve has been arguing for the LUP to take proactive position on the issue of Scottish self-determination and in opposition to the Union.

Steve Freeman addressed last year’s RIC conference (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2013/11/25/2nd-ric-conference-after-the-uk-the-future-of-4-nations/). Along with others from the Republican Socialist Alliance, Steve organised the ‘London Says Yes’ rally (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/09/10/to-scotland-with-love-a-report-from-the-london-says-yes-rally-on-september-6th/) on September 6th.

The LUP held its conference between November 15th- 16th conference, but the leadership ensured that the draft constitution was not taken. Despite the LUP leadership’s continued appeasement of British Left Unionism, these  proposals for a Commonwealth of England have attracted wider attention. There are now other socialist republicans in the Republican Socialist Alliance, A World to Win, open Democracy, Chartist and Red Pepper who do appreciate the significance of what has been and is happening in Scotland. They understand the need for a united struggle against the UK unionist state and its imperial alliance with the US.

Therefore, in the lead up to the to the third RIC conference, and the session entitled ‘Extending Scotland’s democratic revival – Linking up progressive movements across these islands’, Emancipation & Liberation is publishing the LUP Constitutional Committee’s draft Constitution for the Commonwealth of England. Steve Freeman will be at the RIC conference on November 22nd.

 

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DRAFT CONSTITUTION FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

Introduction

The Scottish referendum provided an opportunity for the largest constitutional change in the UK since 1922 when the Irish Free State was created. The Act of Union (1707) is one of the pillars of the British constitution and its abolition would have had major and unpredictable consequences for the rest of the UK. A majority of Scottish voters rejected this at least in part because of the promise of greater powers. This has heightened the imbalance in the UK constitution and the contradictions of having a semi-federal system as highlighted by the ‘West Lothian’ question in which Scottish MPs vote on matters which affect England and not Scotland (e.g. NHS).

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Aug 15 2014

WALES AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE – Leanne Wood, President of Plaid Cymru

Last year, in the run-up to the second RIC Conference, the Edinburgh branch put forward a proposal to organise a session on ‘Internationalism from below and the break-up of the UK, with speakers from Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, This was agreed agreed and Mary MacGregor ( Dundee RIC), Bernadette McAliskey, Steve Freeman (Republican Socialist Alliance in England) and Leanne Wood (President, Plaid Cymru) were all invited to speak. Unfortunately, Leanne had another engagement and sent her apologies.

In June, some Plaid Cymru activists met with Pat Smith and Allan Armstrong of the Edinburgh RIC branch, and with Glasgow RIC members. The net result of this was decision to reinvite Leanne to speak in Scotland. In the event, the venue chosen was Glasgow. And, as you will to read from Leanne’s talk below, this was a particularly appropriate decision. 

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Leanne Wood speaking to RIC public meeting in St. Andrews Hall, Glasgow, July 22nd

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I want to thank you for the invitation to speak to you this evening. 
It is a particular pleasure to address you at this venue.

The last Welsh political leader to visit this building, as I understand, was David Lloyd George back in 1917 as Prime Minister, when this building was known as St Andrew’s Hall.

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