Jan 21 2015

THE RCN AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION

THE REPUBLICAN COMMUNIST NETWORK, THE RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CAMPAIGN,

AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION

Photo of RCN banner – Patricia Kirk & John Lannigan

Contents

A) The emergence and clash of Left British unionism and Left Scottish nationalism

B) The politics of the Scottish independence referendum campaign

C) How the Left responded to the demand for greater national self-determination in Scotland

D) Carrying over lessons learned from the SSP experience

           i)   the need for political platforms

           ii)  the need for a revolutionary pole of attraction

           iii) the need for political balance sheets to avoid repeating earlier mistakes

E) Promoting socialist republicanism and ‘internationalism from below’

           i) The political legacy of the Republican Socialist Conventions and the Global Commune events

           ii) Debating with other socialists during the Scottish independence referendum campaign

           iii) promoting socialist republicanism and ‘internationalism from below’ in RIC

           iv) the debate over secularism

           v) the debate over Ireland

F) Debates and differences within the RCN

          i) in the lead up and during the referendum campaign

          ii) since the September 18th referendum

          iii) the future for RIC, the all-islands Republican Socialist Alliance and the Scottish Left Project

Appendix

 

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May 06 2013

RADICAL LALLANS POET: RAB WILSON

Working class voices are often underrepresented in poetry. James Foley of the International Socialist Group interviews Rab Wilson, a pioneering voice in contemporary Scottish poetry, who writes in the Lallans Scots dialect to narrate the working life of miners and rural labourers. 

Rab Wilson

Rab Wilson

Rab Wilson has established himself as one of Scottish poetry’s unique voices.  Writing – and speaking – in Lallans Scots, his rhymes reflect on the social effects of deindustrialisation through memories of the harsh conditions – and the banter – of rural Ayrshire’s pit life.  His poetry, he says, is a form of social revolt: although he has gained respectability as the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association’s “Robert Burns Reading Fellow in Reading Scots”, he urges poets to “bite the hand that feeds them”.

I caught up with Rab at his home in New Cumnock after viewing his documentary, Finding the Seam, which he describes as a personal poetic journey into the decline of the mining industry.  “Kirkconnel, New Cumnock, Auchinleck…all these villages are only here because of coal,” he says.  “Socially and economically, it made these local communities.”

Rab took an apprenticeship with the National Coal Board, and lived through the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5.  He started writing verses in chalk on the shaft walls, “just ripping the piss…folk in the pits were always writing daft rhymes to wind each other up”.  He has subsequently worked as a psychiatric nurse, and today lives in a very respectable bungalow on the outskirts of town overlooking a new windfarm development.  But if this sounds like embourgeoisement and adaptation to post-Thatcherite Britain, you’d be dead wrong.

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