Feb 11 2014

‘JUST SAY NAW’ TO GALLOWAY’S SECTARIAN BRITISH UNIONISM

Bella caledonia posted an article by Richard Cameron (RCN and Edinburgh RIC) outlining the politics behind George Galloway’s Just Say Naw Scottish road tour (see http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/02/03/just-say-naw-to-galloways-sectarian-british-unionism/). Given the short time to write this article a number of errors appeared, none of which affected the overall arguments presented. However, Richard has now had time to correct these and to add an addendum, What is meant by communalism? The amended article is posted below, with thanks to all those who contributed.

This is followed by a report by on the Edinburgh Just Say Naw meeting held on February 3rd written by Allan Armstrong (RCN) for Edinburgh RIC . This was first posted on  posted at:- http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/report-of-galloway-roadshow-in-edinburgh.html

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1. JUST SAY NAW TO GALLOWAY’S SECTARIAN BRITISH UNIONISM

ARemember George the anti-Iraq war campaigner – look at his allies now

unjtitled-2With the Scottish independence referendum less than nine months away, George Galloway is bringing his ‘Just Say Naw’ roadshow to Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms on Monday February 3rd. A seat costs £10 a head – nothing comes cheap where ‘Gorgeous George’ is involved!

Galloway has been dining out on the Left for a long time since his triumph at the US Senate hearing, almost nine years ago, during the Iraq war. Whatever political differences others on the Left held then, we could all cheer his performance in front of such a smug, then thoroughly riled, bunch of war-mongering US politicians.

However, since then, it has been all downhill for Galloway as a credible Left politician. His Westminster election victories, won on a Left populist mix of Islamic communalism and Old Labourism, leave nothing solid behind. He only held the Bethnal Green and Bow seat from 2005 until 2010, and, in 2015, will almost certainly lose the Bradford West seat he won in the 2012 by-election. In Galloway’s own mind, this has no doubt been largely compensated by his financial gains for being an MP (albeit mostly absentee), from earlier substantial libel awards, from good earnings on the celebrity speaker circuit and, of course, from his cringe-worthy performance on Celebrity Big Brother.

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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).

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Oct 28 2013

AFTER GRANGEMOUTH – WHAT NOW FOR THE LEFT IN SCOTLAND?

The ignominious climbdown of the Broad Left UNITE leadership at Grangemouth highlights the need for the Left in Scotland to assess the political significance of  this disastrous capitulation, which will encourage every employer to resort to similar dictatorial methods when dealing with their workers. Furthermore, the decision of the SNP government to bow to Ratcliffe and INEOS shows the kind of future workers can expect under the SNP’s proposed ‘Scottish Free State’. Below are three articles, the first by Allan Armstrong of the RCN examining the wider political implications. The second is from Jerry Hicks, the Rank & File candidate, who challenged Broad Left incumbent, Len McCluskey, for the General Secretaryship of UNITE earlier this year. Socialist Democracy (Ireland) sent us the third article.

 

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Oct 08 2012

SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION AND THE ‘ACTUALLY EXISTING’ LABOUR MOVEMENT

A response to the Red Paper Collective’s

Power for Scotland’s People – A labour movement view

The ‘Independent Scotland Debate’ was organised by the Edinburgh Peoples Festival on September 9th. 86 people attended this well-conducted event in the Out of the Blue Centre in Leith. The speaker supporting independence was Kevin Williamson of bella caledonia, who argued from a Left nationalist perspective. The speaker opposing independence was West Lothian Labour MSP, Neil Findlay. Neil is also a member of the Red Paper Collective [1] (RPC), which includes British Left unionists in the Scottish Labour Party and the Communist Party of Britain [2]. Supporters of the RPC handed out their pamphlet, Power for Scotland’s People – A labour movement view [3], to elaborate on the points Neil made in the debate.

This website has already posted critiques of Left nationalist approaches to the SNP government’s 2014 referendum [4]. This posting is a critique of the British Left unionist approach outlined in the RPC’s pamphlet [5].

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Sep 16 2012

‘BRITAIN MUST BREAK’ TO DEFEND ‘REAL LABOUR’ or ‘THE BREAK-UP OF THE UK’ TO ADVANCE REPUBLICAN SOCIALISM?

Introduction

The Scottish government’s 2014 ‘independence’ referendum has produced a flurry of analysis and activity amongst the Left in Scotland. This has led several Socialist organisations to come together to promote the Radical Independence Conference (1) to be held in Glasgow on 24th November.  One of these organisations, the International Socialist Group (Scotland) (ISG) (2), has produced a pamphlet, Britain Must Break, written by James Foley, to explain its own thinking in adopting this course of action (3).

The RCN has already posted its own contributions to this debate online (4). We look forward to Socialist organisations’ assessments of our work in this regard. In the same spirit, we will comment on other Socialists’ contributions. Therefore, we welcome this pamphlet from James Foley and the ISG.

The purpose of this particular review and contribution is not to dismiss Britain Must Break from some ‘superior’ or ‘politically correct’ viewpoint, but to assess what is positive in it, to highlight areas where its arguments need to be further developed, but also to examine some possible false leads and dead-ends and to offer alternatives. By adopting such an overall approach, it is possible to see where the ISG’s pamphlet contributes to an independent working class perspective on the forthcoming referendum, or where it could pull the Scottish Left in other political directions.

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