Sep 01 2015

JEREMY CORBYN AND THE RE-EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL DEMOCRACY

Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance, who stood as a socialist republican and anti-Unionist candidate in Bermondsey in the General Election, makes his political assessment of the Corbyn campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party.

 

JEREMY CORBYN AND THE RE-EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL DEMOCRACY

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The fall and rise of Social Democracy and the re-division of the left

The incredible and unbelievable arrival of the movement to elect Jeremy Corbyn MP to be leader of the Labour Party has taken all the left by surprise. It is a happy shock and one to welcome. Its impact is yet to become clear but no doubt it will have a significant impact on socialist movement. The Corbyn movement should not be seen as an isolated event but as part of a chain of events which reflect the course of the class struggle.
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Apr 20 2015

REPUBLICANISM AND DEMOCRACY

Allan Armstrong (RCN) was invited to speak on Republicanism and Democracy  at the Assembly for Democracy event in Glasgow on Saturday, April 11th. He gave an update of the talk at the first Radical Independence Conference in Glasgow in November 2012 (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2012/11/15/genuine-self-determination-means-acting-as-republicans-now/

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Allan Armstrong speaking at the Glasgow Assembly for Democracy

 

Most of the discussions today we have been having today have been about bringing democracy into our own campaigns and developing an opposition to the ongoing British ruling class offensive.

However, as one contributor to the debate has already said, ‘democracy’ is one of the most promiscuous terms to be found in politics. Indeed, the British ruling class likes to claim that “Westminster is the mother of parliaments”, with the implication that it represents a deeply rooted democratic tradition. So it is worth taking a closer look at this Westminster, based on the political notion of the ‘Crown in parliament’.
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Feb 24 2015

PROMOTING REPUBLICANISM

Murdo Ritchie (RCN) wrote the following article for  supporters of the Republican Socialist alliance. It was first also posted on Murdo’s blog  at  http://murdoritchie.blog.co.uk/2015/02/13/promoting-republicanism-20090169/.

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PROMOTING REPUBLICANISM

Thomas Paine - republican internationalist in England, USA and France

Thomas Paine – republican internationalist in England, USA and France

The advocacy of socialist republicanism has very few precedents in the United Kingdom. While many organisations can make claims to republicanism, in most cases this has been rarely developed and has often seemed like it was added on as an extra to more immediately pressing concerns. It should be no real surprise that an anti-political, economic reductionism (economism), or a separatism that sought an end to London rule, and many other perspectives have used the term emptying it of any real understanding or meaning.

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Feb 24 2015

ROLLING BACK SCOTLAND’S ‘DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION’

Allan Armstrong (RCN) updates his socialist republican analyses of constitutional developments in the UK and Ireland, in the led up to the May 2015 Westminster election.

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ROLLING BACK SCOTLAND’S ‘DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION’

1. British unionists and Scottish nationalists attempt to derail Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’

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There are several important features to the political landscape we can currently see in Scotland and the wider UK. One key feature is the shock that the ‘Yes’ campaign gave to the British ruling class and, in particular, to their representatives in the mainstream unionist parties.

The referendum campaign had conjured up a ‘democratic revolution’, beyond either the control of Westminster or Holyrood. Voter registration was 97% and voter participation was 85%. Scotland experienced a wave of public meetings, canvassing, street stalls and cultural events, along with a huge volume of electronic correspondence and face-to-face conversations throughout the campaigning period.

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Sep 21 2014

England – nationalism versus republicanism

Category: Emancipation & Liberation,Issue 23RCN @ 6:19 pm

In England during the referendum, members of both the Left Unity Party (LUP) and the Republican Socialist Alliance organised meetings in London, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield. In the aftermath of the September 18th, Steve Freeman (RSA and LUP/Scottish Republic Yes Tendency) provides his analysis of the campaign and its political consequences.

On Thursday 18 September Scotland stood on the brink of an historic change by ending the 1707 Act of Union. But when the votes were counted a majority of Scottish people voted no by 55% to 45%. This “averted the biggest constitutional crisis in the nation’s history”. (Mick Brown Daily Telegraph 20 September 2014). Instead of Scotland’s democratic future passing into the hands of the people, the no victory handed the power back to Cameron, the Coalition government, the Whitehall machine and the Westminster parliament.

The power had already drained away from Scotland as Cameron emerged from Downing Street the following morning to tell us what would happen next. Scotland would be handed down more powers. Then he seized the opportunity to torpedo the Labour Party and undermine UKIP with the slogan of “English votes for English laws”. He played the card of reactionary English nationalism. He had ‘saved’ the country from predatory Scottish nationalists. He had seen off Alex Salmond. Now he would make England an offer it could not refuse and harvest the votes in the general election.

Later that day the ‘no’ victory was crowned by Her Majesty. With victory in the bag, she emerged from behind the scenes to address the nation. This was reported on the front page of the Daily Telegraph. The headline proudly proclaimed “The Queen’s pledge to help reunite the Kingdom”. This was above a regal photo of the monarch standing beside Gelder Burn on the Balmoral Estate wearing the robes of the “Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle” (Daily Telegraph 20 September 2014). She called on her subjects to respect the outcome and appealed for a “coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support”.

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Jun 06 2014

JUST SAY YES? – A Review of ‘YES – The radical case for Independence’ by James Foley & Pete Ramand

Murdo Ritche (RCN)  reviews Yes- The Radical Case for Scottish Independence
 by James Foley & Pete Ramand (Pluto Press, 2014). This was first posted on Murdo’s blog (http://murdoritchie.blog.co.uk) and has been slightly changed. 

JUST SAY YES?

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The cover and the title of this book summarize the contradictory tensions that flow all through the text. The word Yes takes up nine-tenths of the cover referring to the authors desire to give positive affirmation to September’s independence referendum. Much smaller, is the claim that it will present the radical reasons for national independence. However, rallying a vote and constructing a case are two entirely separate tasks. By attempting both, the authors fail to satisfactorily achieve either. The book is entirely constructed out of these kind of incomplete, unresolved tensions.

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Jun 06 2014

The ECONOMIC SITUATION IN IRELAND AND MARTIN McGUINNESS AT THE ROYAL BANQUET

Emancipation & Liberation is  publishing two articles from the latest issue of Socialist Democracy (Ireland). There is much talk of an economic ‘recovery’ in the UK by George Osborne. The first article examines another  the claims of another economic ‘recovery’ in Ireland. The second article  looks at the continued political degeneration of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, highlighted by Martin McGuinness trip to the royal banquet at Windsor castle, and links it to Sinn Fein’s electoral ambitions in the South.

 

1. HOW REAL IS THE RECOVERY?

 

How real is the recovery? From a socialist point of view, there is no direct connection between the possibility of revolution and economic ups and downs. Workers may revolt out of desperation when their backs are to the wall, but equally the confidence that comes from a boom can inspire revolt.

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May 01 2014

‘Emancipation & Liberation’ RIC Special Bulletin, May 2014

The RCN produced its second  RIC Special Bulletin in May. It includes the articles the following articles:

1. What happens after September 18th

2. Support the struggle for real self-determination in a Scottish democratic, secular and social republic

3. Winning internationalist allies in Ireland

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Edinburgh RIC branch proposals to RIC National Forum in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote on September 18th are appended after the RCN bulletin.

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1. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SEPTEMBER 18th?

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The Radical Independence Campaign has been growing from strength to strength. Beyond the official national SNP front ‘Yes’ organisation there are many independent campaigns. People are developing a real thirst for political engagement. This will not be sated by putting an ‘X’ on a referendum ballot on September 18th. People are looking for a new Scotland in a better world.

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Nov 25 2013

2nd RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE – ‘AFTER THE UK: THE FUTURE OF 4 NATIONS’

 

The RCN received the unanimous backing of  the Edinburgh branch of RIC to ask the  RIC National Steering Committee to organise a session at the second national RIC conference on November 23rd in Glasgow, entitled ‘The break-up of the UK – the case for ‘internationalism from below’’. This was then unanimously agreed by the Steering Committee, subject to availability of speakers and any modifications required by the overall conference programme. In the event, the session was renamed ‘After the UK: the future for 4 nations’.

The initial choice of speaker for Ireland was agreed to be Bernadette McAliskey, and for Wales, Leanne Wood, a republican and the president of Plaid Cymru. Leanne initially indicated her interest, but later had to give her apologies because the conference clashed with a Plaid Cymru event, which also meant that a substitute speaker could not be arranged. Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance was also proposed as a speaker for England, and after the organisers’  consideration this was also agreed. The organisers were left to arrange a speaker for Scotland. In the meantime, Mary McGregor (RCN and Dundee RIC) was proposed to chair the session. Later the organisers came back and, in the interest of preserving gender balance, transferred Mary to speak on Scotland. Tony Kenny, a republican and former SNP member and council candidate was asked to chair the meeting instead.

Below we provide a video link which shows Bernadette’s contribution to this session. After this we provide both videos  and the full texts of Steve Freeman’s and Mary McGregor’s contributions (which was slightly curtailed because of time considerations).

This is followed by a reply to David Torrance’s report of the conference in The Herald.

Videos by Patricia Kirk and John Lanigan

 

Bernadette McAliskey, Mary McGregor, Steve Freeman and Allan Armstrong at the RIC conference

Bernadette McAliskey, Mary McGregor, Steve Freeman and Allan Armstrong at the RIC conference

 

 1. BERNADETTE McALISKEY’S CONTRIBUTION CAN BE SEEN AT:-

http://youtu.be/biwdlxRElI4

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Nov 05 2013

THE CASE FOR THE REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PLATFORM IN THE LEFT UNITY PARTY IN ENGLAND

There has been considerable interest shown in the proposed Left Unity Party in England and Wales, which it is intended to launch on November 30th. We have already posted one proposed platform – the Socialist Platform (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2013/08/12/5722/). In an interesting development, some members of  the Republican Socialist Alliance in England are Making the Case for a Republican Socialist Platform.  They argue from a similar ‘internationalism from below’ stance to the RCN.

The Chartists' republican tricolour

The Chartists’ republican tricolour

 

A CASE FOR THE REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PLATFORM

“British politics urgently needs a new force – a movement on the Left to counter capitalism’s crisis. If a new, networked movement of the Left could agree on some key principles, and avoid creating another battleground for ultra-left sects, it could give a voice to million … a movement uniting all those desperate for a coherent alternative to the tragedy of austerity, inflicted on this country without any proper mandate”. (Owen Jones ‘Independent’ Sunday 20 January 2013)

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