Jan 14 2021

BREXIT – A NEW CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS

We are posting the following two articles on the Brexit. The first by  Steve Freeman, posted on the Republican Socialist Network blog, highlights the  nature of the constitutional crisis article brought about by Brexit. The second from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) is  about the likely political impact of Brexit on Ireland and the illusion that this will pave the wa  to Irish reunification under the auspices of the Irish Dail and the Northern Irish Stormont.

 

1. VOTING AGAINST  THE TORY DEAL

 

 

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland left the European Union in February 2020 with a stay of execution until 31 December 2020. On the 30 December the country faced a dire emergency. Next day the Great Britain would crash out of the Single Market and Customs Union, leaving Northern Ireland in the single market for goods with a EU customs border with the rest of the UK. The only question in doubt is whether there would be the safety net of a trade deal to prevent a crash. Continue reading “BREXIT – A NEW CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS”

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Jan 07 2021

WHITHER REMAIN OR WILL REMAIN WITHER?

The ruling class has fully fallen in behind Johnson’s Brexit deal. After the Leave vote, May, assisted by Corbyn,  had already delivered them a new gastarbeiter scheme with cheap easily disposable migrant labour. Now after the December 29th vote to accept Johnson’s hard Brexit deal,  Daniel Hannan,* former Tory MEP and president of the Initiative for Free Trade, has flagged up the scrapping of EU worker and consumer protection rules. Sir Keir Starmer, quick to see the lack of any ruling class support for EU, has fallen in line, not even being prepared to vote against Johnson’s deal on December 29th.  This article by Phil Vellender looks to the shrinking prospects for those on the Left in England who wanted to Remain in the EU. It highlights their political limitations, particularly those of Another Europe Is Possible, flowing from their acceptance of the UK state based on the profoundly anti-democratic sovereignty of the Union and the Crown in Westminster, 

 

WHITHER REMAIN OR WILL REMAIN WITHER?

 

 

Some Remain voters are setting up ‘Rejoin EU ASAP’ groups. This is an entirely understandable reaction to a traumatic hard Brexit that no one voted for, and certainly many would not vote for again, given all the evidence we now have of the shenanigans and empty promises involved in the Cummings-Elliot Leave EU campaign. But before we expend a lot of energy on a project with, let’s face it, scant chance of success as things stand now, it might be timely to address some domestic constitutional matters those ‘yearning to return’ may have overlooked when they unreservedly and single-mindedly backed the People’s Vote campaign, and its demand for a ‘Second Referendum’. Continue reading “WHITHER REMAIN OR WILL REMAIN WITHER?”

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Dec 17 2020

POPULAR CULTURE, BREXIT AND ONE NATION TORYISM

 

 

The following article by Jim Aitken, first appeared on the Culture Matters blog.

 

POPULAR CULTURE, BREXIT AND ONE NATION TORYISM

 

 

There was a palpable sense of euphoria on the BBC during the morning after the night before of the General Election of December 12, 2019. It had a feeling of glee about it; a childish excitement that the un-English dragon of socialism – as represented by Jeremy Corbyn – had well and truly been defeated by the forces of St. George of England. These forces, amazingly, had included many of those who had been reduced to the level of serfdom by the political party they were now supporting. Dragon Jeremy had promised these serfs their rightful inheritance and instead they chose Boris, the court jester. England’s green and pleasant lands could remain forever precariously green – a bit like the serfs themselves.

In a sense the BBC was entitled to this gleefulness because it had helped to orchestrate a campaign that told the serfs of England’s former industrial areas that the court jester needed their seats to ‘Get Brexit Done’. Many duly obliged because they too wanted to ‘Get Brexit Done’. No-one asked them why they wanted it done and why Europe was so noxious to them. No-one asked them if they thought it was the EU that was responsible for the de-industrialisation of their areas; if the EU was responsible for the austerity they lived under; for the food banks they go to for food or for the zero hours and chronic low pay they receive. No-one asked them if all these adversities were made in the UK or in the EU. For the court jester, however, Europe was foreign and too left-wing with too many regulations for a free-marketeer like him. England did not need to be a vassal state any longer. She could be free from all the regulations that guaranteed the serfs minimal rights, and be great again. Continue reading “POPULAR CULTURE, BREXIT AND ONE NATION TORYISM”

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Nov 18 2020

FURTHER POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN IRELAND: NORTH AND SOUTH

We are posting the following two articles from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) in the current situation in Ireland, North and South.

 

1. STORMONT EXECUTIVE TAKES A RECKLESS TURN ON PANDEMIC

 

 

Arlene Foster and Edwin Poots, DUP

 

For a long time Stormont has stood as a byword for sectarianism, corruption and incompetence. Under the pressure of the coronavirus crisis these features of the political institutions have been elevated to new levels. The past six months has seen political leaders breach Covid regulations; parties retain support grants that were mistakenly paid into their bank accounts; advice from health officials rejected; the representatives of medical professionals subjected to personalised attacks; and a minister claim that one community was primarily responsible for the spread of the virus. However the goings on within the Stormont Executive last week, over whether to extend or relax Covid regulations, have manged to top all of that. If the situation wasn’t so serious it would be comical. Yet the decisions made by government do have consequences and what has been agreed upon this week is likely to have very severe consequences for public health. Continue reading “FURTHER POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN IRELAND: NORTH AND SOUTH”

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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/2020/12/the-british-left-the-uk-state-.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”

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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?”

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Sep 03 2020

LABOUR’S HISTORIC DEFEAT IN SCOTLAND

We are posting this article by Steve Freeman first posted on the Republican Socialist Alliance outlining, mainly for the benefit of republican socialists in England, the Scottish dimension of ‘Labour’s historic defeat’.

 

LABOUR’S HISTORIC DEFEAT IN SCOTLAND

 

Stunned?
Resting?
Pining for the ‘Spirit of 45’?

You may remember the famous Monty Python sketch about a parrot returned by a dissatisfied customer, John Cleese, to the pet-shop run by Michael Palin. As Cleese enters the shop, Palin says, “We are closing for lunch”. Cleese says “Never mind that, my lad, I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.” Palin replies “oh yes, the, ur, the Norwegian Blue. What, uh, what is wrong with it”. “I tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad,” says Cleese, “E’s dead, that’s what is wrong with it”.“No, no e’s uh…. he’s resting” claims Palin. Continue reading “LABOUR’S HISTORIC DEFEAT IN SCOTLAND”

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Aug 20 2020

LEBANON – THE CRISES IN AN INSTITUTIONALLY SECTARIAN STATELET SET UP BY IMPERIALISM

We are posting two articles following the horrendous explosion in Beirut which killed mote than 200 people. The first is by Yassamine Mather (CPGB-WW) and shows that this is just the latest crisis in an institutionally sectarian statelet set up under the auspices of  French imperialism The second is from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) and draws some parallels with Northern Ireland, an institutionally sectarian statelet set up by British imperialism. 

 

1. THE PAST WEIGHS HEAVY ON THE PRESENT 

 

 

Less than a week after the massive port explosion that cost more than 200 lives, the entire Lebanese government resigned. Of course, long before that, serious students of the Middle East thought of Lebanon as a failed state. The grossly unfair constitution, the inbuilt sectarianism, the bungled response to Covid-19 and the subsequent economic crisis triggered protests across the country … against hunger, unemployment, inflation, endemic corruption. Continue reading “LEBANON – THE CRISES IN AN INSTITUTIONALLY SECTARIAN STATELET SET UP BY IMPERIALISM”

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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”

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Feb 04 2020

FROM ILLUSIONS IN A LEXIT BREXIT TO A DISILLUSIONED LEXIT FROM BREXIT POLITICS – THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION AND INDEPENDENT SOCIALISTS ACROSS THESE ISLANDS

Allan Armstrong has published an article entitled From Illusions in a Lexit Brexit to a Disillusioned Lexit from Brexit Politics (https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/socialists-and-december-12th-election.pdf)  The contents of this book are shown below, followed by the last two chapters and conclusion. This  article follows The Impact of the December 12th General Election across the Constituent Parts of the UK. (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2020/01/24/the-impact-of-the-december-12th-general-election-across-the-constituent-parts-of-the-uk/)

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FROM ILLUSIONS IN A LEXIT BREXIT TO A DISILLUSIONED LEXIT FROM BREXIT POLITICS 

 

 

Telegraph backs Lexiters’ ‘revolution’ and ‘Peoples Brexit!

 

Contents

a)  The 2015 general election provided a warning

b)  After 2015 – an increasingly floundering Left

c)  Northern Ireland – a different pattern

d)  Reactionary unionism and Europhobic opposition to the EU

e)  The largest independent Socialist parties walk into the Brexit trap

f)  The official Remain and Leave campaigns – two wings of the British ruling class

g)  The Lexiters’ false arguments

h)  The political options open in the run-up to the 2016 EU referendum

i)  From 23rd May, 2016 to 8th June, 2017 – A victory for the Left or the Right?

j)  ‘Independent’ Socialists and ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’!

k)  Corbyn and the ‘independent’ Socialists unwittingly help Boris Johnson to victory

l)  Independent socialists after the December 12th general election

m) Independent socialists in Scotland and Northern Ireland/Ireland

n) Conclusion

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THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION AND INDEPENDENT SOCIALISTS ACROSS THESE ISLANDS

 

1. Independent socialists after the December 12th general election

On December 12th, Labour’s vote share fell by 7.8% and its number of MPs decreased from 262 to 202. The Tories’ vote share rose 1.2%, but its number of MPs increased from 317 to 365. The gap in the vote share was 11.4%, 32.2% for Labour and 43.6% for the Tories.[1] Not surprisingly a shattered Jeremy Corbyn offered his resignation, opening up the prospect of a new leadership campaign. Continue reading “FROM ILLUSIONS IN A LEXIT BREXIT TO A DISILLUSIONED LEXIT FROM BREXIT POLITICS – THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION AND INDEPENDENT SOCIALISTS ACROSS THESE ISLANDS”

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