Aug 10 2020

SCOTTISH LABOUR FOR RADICAL DEMOCRACY

In the aftermath of the General Election, 89 Scottish Labour Party activists signed an Open Letter making the case for radical democracy (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2020/02/09/13676/). As the crisis depend in the Scottish Labour Party this has been followed up by another Open Letter  published in bella caledonia on 21.6.20. (https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2020/06/21/scottish-labour-for-radical-democracy/). E&L are posting this letter below.

 

SCOTTISH LABOUR FOR RADICAL DEMOCRACY

“Unlike the leadership of Scottish Labour, we recognise that there is still a clear appetite amongst the Scottish people for a second independence referendum, registered in consistent opinion polls and election results. With a radicalised Conservative majority at Westminster aiming at a hard Brexit while refusing further devolution to Scotland, we also respect and sympathise with that demand. We believe that our position reflects that of the mainstream of the Scottish labour movement, which is being ignored and let down by its parliamentary representatives.

But Scottish Labour’s leadership aren’t the only ones frightened of democracy. While the SNP claim to speak for the people, they have centralised power at Holyrood and repeatedly sided with landlords and multinational corporations against the demands of trade unions, tenants unions and local authorities. They have often done this against the wishes of the SNP’s many left-wing members, while arguing that real change is only possible with independence. Yet as it stands, the SNP’s vision for independence swaps dependency on Westminster for dependency on foreign investors and NATO, promising self-determination in name only.

The Scottish people are trapped between two political systems: a British system dominated by rentiers, bankers and a right-wing media which barely acknowledges Scotland’s existence beyond the SNP; and a devolved Scottish system defined by self-congratulation and complacency, where radical initiatives are stifled by the need to react to whatever Britain’s dysfunctional government and economy does next. These systems are at odds with each other, but at the same time they reinforce each other, keeping Scotland stuck in two minds, neither of which has any good ideas.

The limited constitutional reforms made after the last independence referendum have clearly failed to resolve this, and we have no faith in the even more limited constitutional reforms Scottish Labour now proposes. The sabotage of Jeremy Corbyn by the British media and political classes has demonstrated just how inhospitable the British system is for the politics of basic human decency. The popular demand for a new independence referendum reflects a deep frustration with this situation. It also provides the best democratic means of seriously discussing and deciding on a way out of it, whether it be through a radical constitutional transformation or Scottish independence.

By setting themselves against a new referendum, Scottish Labour’s leadership are forfeiting any right to be listened to by those voters who once placed their hopes for social change in the Labour Party, and now place their hopes in independence and the SNP. By refusing to allow a nationwide, democratic debate on Scotland’s future, Scottish Labour’s leadership are depriving the labour movement of a voice in the narrow, elite-level debate that does exist.

We know that many Scottish Labour members do not share the tribalism and fear of debate that now characterises party strategy. We also want to move Scottish politics beyond the dull speculation over the timing and possibility of an independence referendum, without denying the popular aspiration for a different kind of state. And we know that we are not the only party where members are frustrated with the timidity of their leaders and the failures of the Scottish Parliament. We will be organising a public meeting in the next fortnight to bring together grassroots socialist activists and trade unionists from a range of Scottish parties to discuss the prospects for radical co-operation across party lines as a new Holyrood election approaches.”

 

21.6.20

This letter was first posted in 21.6.20 by bella caledonia at:-

https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2020/06/21/scottish-labour-for-radical-democracy/ 

Tags:


Feb 09 2020

TWO SCOTTISH RESPONSES TO THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION

We are posting two responses to the results of the December 12th general election, the first from activists within the Scottish Labour Party and the second form Gavin Lundy, National Convenor of Young Scots for Independence.

_______________

1. Open Letter: Scottish Labour for Radical Democracy

(this was first posted at:-  https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2019/12/15/open-letter-scottish-labour-for-radical-democracy)

We demand radical self-determination for Scotland. The Scottish people have, in successive elections to both Holyrood and Westminster, elected majorities in favour of a new referendum on independence. Setting aside the arguments for and against independence, we must not allow a hardline Tory government – which has no mandate here – to override Scotland’s democratic will.

Should all attempts to secure a second referendum by legal and constitutional means be obstructed by the UK government, we support an escalating strategy of non-cooperation and civil disobedience against that government, pursued at all possible levels: from the Scottish Government legislating on, or refusing to cooperate with, matters ‘reserved’ to Westminster, to grassroots non-violent direct action within and outwith Scotland. Continue reading “TWO SCOTTISH RESPONSES TO THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Jan 24 2020

THE IMPACT OF THE DECEMBER 12TH GENERAL ELECTION ACROSS THE CONSTITUENT PARTS OF THE UK

Allan Armstrong follows up his article, The Continued Rise of Right National Populism and Reactionary Unionism in the Run-up to the December 12th General Election (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2019/12/09/the-continued-rise-of-right-populism-and-reactionary-unionism/). He examines the impact of the general election results across the constituent parts of the UK and the prospects for the immediate future. 

 

THE IMPACT OF THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION ACROSS THE CONSTITUENT PARTS OF THE UK

 

 

a)    The three possible outcomes of the December 12th Westminster general election

b)    How Corbyn’s Left social democracy, its complicity in British chauvinism and racism and its support for the UK state helped to pave the way for Johnson

c)    Other factors undermining the Corbynista challenge to Johnson

d)    The election results in England

e)    The election results in Wales

f)     The election results in Scotland

g)    The election results in Northern Ireland

h)    Conclusion

_________________

  Continue reading “THE IMPACT OF THE DECEMBER 12TH GENERAL ELECTION ACROSS THE CONSTITUENT PARTS OF THE UK”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,