Apr 07 2017

THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance and the Left Unity Party draws on the revolutionary democratic political tradition in England, linking the Levellers, the Chartists and the Suffragettes. He outlines its strengths compared with the social democratic and economist political tradition of Labour and most of the British Left sects. Steve argues that Socialists should be championing the revolutionary democratic tradition today.

THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

“Westminster? It’s old, defunct, a waste of time. I hate the place” – Mhairi Black MP *

Westminster does not look or work any better from the inside or the outside. In May 1991 Tony Benn MP proposed fundamental reform. He introduced the Commonwealth of Britain Bill in the House of Commons, intended to make Britain a federal republic. The current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP seconded the Bill. The Bill’s first hurdle on the parliamentary road to a republic was to get permission from the Queen to submit it to the Commons. Then there has to be majorities in the Commons, Lords and then finally with the royal assent the Bill becomes law.
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Dec 07 2016

BUILDING AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN RISE AND LEFT UNITY

RISE held a national members’ meeting in Glasgow on saturday 3rd December. The leaflet ‘Building an alliance between RISE and Left Unity’ was circulated. Steve Freeman and Allan Armstrong (of the Republican Socialist Alliance – RSA) addressed the meeting. Steve has subsequently written a report for Left Unity. These two ianti-Unionist alliance items have been posted below.

This is followed by giving the links to articles on this blog which have argued for  greater unity, on an anti-unionist basis, between the RSA , the Radical Independence Campaign, the Left Unity Party and RISE.

 

1. BUILDING AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN RISE AND LEFT UNITY

Steve Freeman speaking at first Left Unity Conference

Steve Freeman speaking at first Left Unity Conference

Preamble

Left Unity was set up in 2013 to organise a party standing in opposition to neo-liberalism and the politics of New Labour. The party aimed to unite democratic socialists and communists into one party to resist austerity politics. The majority of LU members were in England with a small membership in Scotland and Wales. Left Unity had no policy on the national question until the Scottish referendum in 2014 when the party voted to take an abstention position.
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Nov 29 2016

LITTLE ENGLAND

We are posting the following letter by Steve Freeman of the Left Unity Party and RISE  which addresses some of the politics underlying Brexit.

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LITTLE ENGLAND

The iconic picture of Trump with Farage reveals a certain truth about Brexit. Here we have a glimpse of reality, entirely absent from the Tory referendum. We can invent our own dialogue. Farage says: ‘Donald, I am handing you the UK on a plate.’ Trump, thumbs up, replies: ‘Thanks. I’ll take Scotland as my golf course, the NHS and more tax breaks for American multinationals. I want free trade deals to benefit America and no more wind farms.’
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Nov 29 2016

ANTI-SEMITISM HAS NEVER BEEN A PROBLEM FOR ZIONISM

Tony Greenstein highlights the Zionist response in Israel, USA and the UK to the election of Donald Trump and his appointment of Steve Bannon, former head of the AltRight Breibart News, which has published anti-Semitic articles. 

Steve Bannon and Donald Trump

Steve Bannon and Donald Trump

 

A WELCOME FOR TRUMP AND BANNON

Jonathan Arkush: congratulated Trump on his win

It must have come as a shock to many young members of the Jewish Labour Movement when the president of the Board of Deputies, Jonathan Arkush, “publicly congratulated Donald Trump on his election win” (1). After all, these young things have grown up to believe that anti-Semitism is a leftwing phenomenon that exists in organisations like Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, and 21 of them were among the 175 British Jewish signatories to a letter expressing their ‘deep concern’ at Arkush’s statement (2).
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Nov 08 2016

REPORT OF THE LEFT UNITY PARTY CONFERENCE IN LIVERPOOL ON 29.10.16

Steve Freeman of the Left Unity Party and RISE goes a report of the LUP Conference held in Liverpool on 29th October.

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ANTI-UNIONISM

The Tories, UKIP, the Democratic Unionists, the Liberal Democrats, and the Labour Party are all British Unionist parties. Last weekend Left Unity (LU) conference took a significant step forward. It became an Anti-Unionist party and thus drew a sharp distinction with Corbyn’s Labour Party. LU took the first steps to realigning the party with the democratic movement in Scotland, not least in demanding the abolition of the 1707 Act of Union.
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Oct 29 2016

2 RESPONSES TO THE HOME AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORT ON ANTI-SEMITISM

We are posting 2 responses to the Westminster’s Home Affairs Committee Reporton Anti-Semitism. The first is by Richard Kuper, founder member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. This was first posted on Open Democracy. The second is by Tony Greenstein and was first published by Weekly Worker.

 

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Palestinian land taken by the state of Israel

 

1. CRYING WOLF

A cavalier use of evidence in the UK’s latest Home Affairs Committee report is feeding a moral panic about antisemitism, rather than dealing with an increasingly racist, intolerant society.
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Aug 29 2016

THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE CONVENTION MARK 2 – ANOTHER COVER FOR THE SNP LEADERSHIP?

The Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) is to be relaunched in Glasgow on Sunday, September 18th. This body was first constituted on November 30th, 2005, on the initiative of the Scottish Socialist Party. The SNP gave its support, but then ensured that it was kept firmly at arm’s length whilst the party developed its own links with big business, and further accommodated to US and British imperial interests.

When the  SNP leadership eventually launched its own front campaign, ‘Yes Scotland’, in Edinburgh on 25th May 2012, the SIC took no part in this decision. For the SNP, the main purpose of SIC had been to tie up the Left and to prevent a republican alternative from emerging  – although the split that had occurred in the SSP certainly helped them in this endeavour.

Below we are republishing a pamphlet published in 2006 in response to the first SIC. This was produced by the RCN Platform in the SSP. The article anticipates some of the retreats the SNP went on to make to gain respectability, e.g. the climbdown over NATO.

Although today’s political situation is not the same as in 2005, there are still many things to be learned from this particular attempt to subordinate any independent class initiative to the political requirements of an SNP leadership, which represents the interests of a wannabe Scottish ruling class in the making.

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 THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE CONVENTION –

COMMITTING THE SSP TO A NATIONALIST STRATEGY?

 

Introduction

The RCN has been pushing the SSP (and its predecessor the Scottish Socialist Alliance) to adopt a republican and internationalist strategy in Scotland since its inception. We initiated the 2005 SSP Conference motion, which was passed by a large majority of delegates.
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Aug 03 2016

DAVID HOPPER AND THE DURHAM MINERS GALA

David Hopper died on July 16th. He was the General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association and last spoke on Saturday July 9th at the Durham Miners Gala. This was attended by 150,000 people. David Hopper was central to the revival of this major working class political and social event, after the defeat of the heroic miners struggle in 1985. Dave Douglass, an ex-miner from County Durham and a member of the IWW and NUM has written the first piece posted here about David Hopper. This is followed by David Hopper’s own last speech given at the Gala.

 

1. DAVEY HOPPER , 1944-2016

Davey Hopper addressing Durham Miners Gala

Davey Hopper addressing Durham Miners Gala

It is impossible to overstate the importance of the role played by the ‘two Davies’ – Davie Guy and Davey Hopper, respectively the late president and general secretary of the North-East area of the NUM and Durham Miners Association.
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Jul 27 2016

2 RESPONSES TO CHAKRABHATI REPORT

 

Julia Bard and Tony Greenstein have written their own responses  to the official Chakrabhati Report into Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Julia Bard is a freelance journalist, a member of the NC of the Jewish Socialists’ Group and the Editorial Committee of Jewish Socialist magazine. Tony Greenstein is a log standing Jewish anti-Zionist and currently suspended member of the Labour Party. Julia Bard’s article was first posted at http://www.chartist.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Chartist-281-spread.pdf and Tony Greenstein’s at http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1114/a-marred-report.

Shami Chakrabati and Jeremy Corbyn at the launch of the report

Shami Chakrabati and Jeremy Corbyn at the launch of the report

 

1. CYNICISM BEHIND ANTI-SEMITISM ROW

Julia Bard dissects the issues in the recent anti-semitism furore in the Labour Party and finds the issue is being instrumentalised for other political purposes.
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Apr 09 2016

TOWARD A SECULAR SOCIETY

Eric Chester (RCN) takes David Cameron to task over his promotion of a Christian UK.

Forgive us our debts and hallowed be thy tax havens

Forgive us our debts and hallowed be thy tax havens

During his recent Easter weekend address, Prime Minister David Cameron made a point of declaring that the United Kingdom was a “Christian country.” This is not the first time Cameron has used religion to advance his conservative agenda. In his speech, he argued that Christians had certain values, including compassion, that were those held by the UK as a whole. This is ironic coming from the proponent of the bedroom tax and a budget that cuts funds for the disabled, but hypocrisy has always been a trademark of mainstream politicians.
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