Feb 09 2016

4th RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE, 20th February, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

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Take a break from party politics, reconnect with allies across the left and dig into the issues: not just understanding the problems, but discussing positive solutions & ideas for action.

Routes to Independence & Roots of Change

Speakers & Contributors: Jim Sillars • Robin McAlpine • Cat Boyd • Maggie Chapman • Debora Kayembe • Jill Austin • Angela Haggerty • Andy Myles • Myshele Haywood • Annie Macrae • Neil Davidson • Annie Millar • Jo Shaw • Eurig Scandrett • Jean Kemp • Pinar Aksu Kath Jones • Duncan McCabe • Jennifer Jones • Jonathon Shafi • Pete Cannell • Kathy Milligan • Stephen Smellie • Terry Wrigley • Stella Rooney • Liz Murray • Stuart Rodger • Global Justice Now • Open Rights Group • Scottish CND • Stop TTIP • Scrap Trident • Hands Over Our Forth • Stop the War Coalition • and others!

Main Sessions, Discussions & Workshops: Routes to Independence • Resisting Austerity • Climate Change & Social Justice • Resisting War: the Middle East & Trident • Building Social Movements • Our Energy Future • EU: In or Out? • Citizens’ Income • Global Refugees • TTIP • Trade Union Bill • Kobane • Democratic Housing • Education • Media • Electronic Self-Defence • Know Your Rights

£12 Waged • £6 Unwaged • £18 Solidarity
Accessible Venue • Crèche Available

FOR TICKETS & INFO: RADICAL.SCOT 

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Feb 01 2014

ALEX SALMOND AND THE WRITTEN CONSTITUTION

Murdo Ritchie, a new member of the RCN, writes about the political significance of the issue of a written constitution raised the SNP government’s White Paper.

 

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon present the SNP government's 'White Paper' to a press conference

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon present the SNP government’s ‘White Paper’ to a press conference

 

Although the First Minister has abandoned the SNP’s commitments to referenda on a future independent Scotland’s membership of NATO and the European Union as well as continuing the current monarch as head-of-state, he has remained quite firm on the importance of a written constitution for a future Scotland.  Indeed he has emphasised this policy more strenuously than many others.  It may be the single most important policy proposal he has made.  It is central to a full and proper understanding of the importance of the White Paper (1).

Continue reading “ALEX SALMOND AND THE WRITTEN CONSTITUTION”

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Nov 22 2013

2nd RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE ‘EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION’ SPECIAL

 

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Our Emancipation & Liberation Radical Independence Conference Special will be available at the conference on Saturday, November 23rd.

 

 

CONTENTS

 

Editorial (also posted below)

Scottish Self-Determination: For a Scottish Wannabe Ruling Class or for Scotland’s People? – RCN

Why is Venezuela relevant to Scotland’s Radical Independence Movement? – Ewan Robertson

Women and Independence – Alice Bowman

Why we won’t wear a poppy – Jim Slaven

The Scottish Republic and the Commonwealth of England – Steve Freeman

Republican Socialist Platform

The Republican Communist Network (Scotland) – What We Stand For – From Theory to Practice

Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) a commemoration – Mary McGregor

Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey, a film review – Zofia Walczak

Freedom Come All Ye, Hamish Henderson

Continue reading “2nd RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE ‘EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION’ SPECIAL”

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Jan 23 2013

David Jamieson of the ISG replies to Allan Armstrong

David Jamieson of the International Socialist Group (ISG) replies to a series of articles written by Allan Armstrong (RCN) on the Radical Independence Conference and the ISG (see links at the end of this article). The current crisis engulfing the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) highlights the necessity for openness, democracy and equality on the Left. One hallmark of the SWP has been  its unwillingness to conduct proper debates with others on the Left. The ISG split from the SWP in 2011 in response to some of its negative practices. Therefore the RCN very much welcomes David Jamieson’s (and James Foley’s) willingness to enter into debates with others and to make contributions like this. 

in Socialism and the movement in Scotland

I should begin by re-stating what James Foley of the ISG has already stated, that I am a Marxist, a socialist and an internationalist. There is absolutely no ambiguity about this political identity – which is in full evidence in the content of the ISG’s website, in the organisation’s public statements and indeed in the organisation’s name. Rest assured my long view of class struggle in Scotland involves – amongst a great many other things – mass, grassroots, direct workers democracy, the armed seizure of power and even (horror) ‘The Party’.

Continue reading “David Jamieson of the ISG replies to Allan Armstrong”

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Jan 01 2013

FROM SYRIZA TO SCOTLAND

Greece has become the flashpoint for Europe. The Greek economy has collapsed, but Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and even Italy are also spiralling downward. Nevertheless, only in Greece does there seem to be an organized political response that can directly challenge for power.

Syriza

Syriza

SYRIZA began as a loose coalition of parties and organization that sought to present a non-dogmatic left-wing alternative to the mainstream social democratic politics of PASOK. As the crisis has deepened, SYRIZA has snowballed in strength to the point that current opinion polls show it with more popular support than any other party. At the same time, SYRIZA has been evolving into a unitary organization with a recognized leader Alex Tsipras.

From the start, SYRIZA has been dominated by those coming from the Eurocommunist tradition. It has always pursued a reformist path to socialism, but, as it has grown to become a significant player in Greek politics, it has modified its program to demonstrate that it could govern Greece in a “responsible” manner. SYRIZA insists that further austerity cuts are not possible, and that the memorandum of understanding imposed on Greece by the troika (the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission) should be rejected. Still, SYRIZA is also adamant that Greece must remain within the European Union, and, if possible, in the Eurozone. This contradictory perspective is tenuously held together by the fervent belief that the European Union, and specifically the German government, will accept a significant renegotiation of Greece’s debt leading to a substantial reduction in payments, accompanied by a further round of loans at a low interest rate.

Continue reading “FROM SYRIZA TO SCOTLAND”

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Dec 20 2012

RADISSON BLU OR POST-RADISSON RED?

This blog has already commented on the earlier organising behind the Radical Independence Conference. It has also provided a fraternal critique of Britain Must Break, written by James Foley for the International Socialist Group (ISG), the organisation which initiated the RIC. Many others have commented on the conference itself (see end of articles below for links to these)

Below are posted two related articles. The first  examines the politics of the ISG and how these could  influence the future of the RIC. The second makes a comparison between the ISG (which has come out of the SWP tradition) and seeks to reunite the Left in Scotland, and the International Socialist Movement (which came from the CWI/Militant tradition) and sought to unite the Left through setting up the Scottish Socialist Party. Continue reading “RADISSON BLU OR POST-RADISSON RED?”

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Dec 11 2012

A DEBATE ON THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE

On 24th November over 800 people attended the Radical Independence Conference in Glasgow. Gregor Gall has written an article looking at this major event for the Word Power Bookshop Platform, entitled Scottish Independence & Letting a Thousand Flowers Bloom. It can be found at:-

 http://www.word-power.co.uk/viewPlatform.php?id=607

Continue reading “A DEBATE ON THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE”

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Nov 19 2012

RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE

The Radical Independence Conference (http://radicalindependence.org/), being held this Saturday, 24th November in Glasgow, is likely to be the biggest gathering of the Left in Scotland for many years. The RCN has been covering this event since the first open organising meeting in June. We have produced a special issue of our magazine, Emancipation & Liberation, no, 21, for this conference. Anyone attending, who would like a free copy, just collect it from our stall.

Below, can be found the list of the magazine’s contents and the Editorial which outlines our hopes for this Conference.

Image from front cover of Emancipation & Liberation, no. 21

Editorial

For An Independent Scottish Socialist Republic

The Declaration of Calton Hill

For a Socialist and Feminist Republican Scotland: Gender Equality and Beyond – Susan Dorazio

Imagining Radical Independence; Learning from the Venezuelan Experience – Ewan Robertson

The Slippery Slope – Murdo Ritchie

Ireland and the broader consequences of the 2014 Scottish Referendum – Jim Slaven

What is happening in Greece and why – Lina Christou

Republican Communist Network: What We Stand For – From Theory to Practice

Michael Marra – A Tribute – Mary McGregor

The front cover montage has been made by Patricia Kirk and John Lanigan

Continue reading “RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE”

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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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Oct 28 2012

THE RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE – WHICH WAY FORWARD?

Murdo Richie who runs the blog ( http://murdoritchie.blog.co.uk/argues that the Radical Independence Conference faces a choice of taking one of two political paths – tailending the official SNP campaign or developing the best politicies for an independent Scotland

The Radical Independence Convention can only travel in one of two directions after the Conference of Saturday, November 24th. (1)  It can either become a component in a delivery mechanism for a “Yes” vote in the forthcoming Independence Referendum in 2014 or it can attempt to design the best kind of policies for a future independent Scotland.   It is a great mistake to believe that both are possible.

The Conference can become “mood music” outlining a different kind of Scotland from the one on offer from the trinity of Alex Salmond, the Scottish Government and the Scottish National Party to promote an “aspirational” picture that is unlikely to be achieved by voting for the “Yes” on offer.  Or, it can discuss the kind of Scotland that many of the participants want to build.

Continue reading “THE RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE – WHICH WAY FORWARD?”

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