Apr 07 2017

SOME OBSERVATIONS UPON ‘THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND’

Allan Armstrong makes some observations on The Commonwealth of England written by Steve Freeman (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2017/04/07/the-commonwealth-of-england/). He examines the likely role that federalism will play in IndyRef2, drawing on the historical precedents for its use in the UK and USSR.

 

SOME OBSERVATIONS UPON THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

There is a great deal I agree with in Steve’s article. In a later contribution to this discussion I would like to develop Steve’s historic analysis, going back to the days of the Levellers, through the Chartists and on to the Suffragettes. However, in these observations, I will confine myself to the issue of federalism.

The political origins of the idea of British federalism go back to the first attempts to hold together the British Empire in North America, when faced by the challenge of American republicanism. It failed. The challenge of Irish republicanism and the War of Independence from 1919, led to a Westminster Speakers’ Conference. This recommended a federal solution for the UK. It too failed. Although the UK state did instead, after Loyalist pogroms and reactionary unionist Partition, come up with the earliest form of political Devolution in the UK – Stormont. No wonder, it was difficult for others later to win support for devolution in Scotland and Wales, when Stormont formed the precedent!
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Apr 07 2017

THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance and the Left Unity Party draws on the revolutionary democratic political tradition in England, linking the Levellers, the Chartists and the Suffragettes. He outlines its strengths compared with the social democratic and economist political tradition of Labour and most of the British Left sects. Steve argues that Socialists should be championing the revolutionary democratic tradition today.

THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND

“Westminster? It’s old, defunct, a waste of time. I hate the place” – Mhairi Black MP *

Westminster does not look or work any better from the inside or the outside. In May 1991 Tony Benn MP proposed fundamental reform. He introduced the Commonwealth of Britain Bill in the House of Commons, intended to make Britain a federal republic. The current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP seconded the Bill. The Bill’s first hurdle on the parliamentary road to a republic was to get permission from the Queen to submit it to the Commons. Then there has to be majorities in the Commons, Lords and then finally with the royal assent the Bill becomes law.
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Nov 25 2015

SOCIAL JUSTICE – RADICAL HISTORY, CENSORSHIP AND HOW THE TORIES STOLE OUR LANGUAGE

Pauline Bradley (RCN and RISE) outlines the emergence of the notion of Social Justice during the Liverpool Dockers campaign and how the Tories have attempted to hijack the term.

SOCIAL JUSTICE – OUR RADICAL HISTORY, CENSORSHIP

AND HOW THE TORIES STOLE OUR TERM

Social Justice banner on Liverpool Dockers' March

Social Justice banner on Liverpool Dockers’ March

Social Justice is a concept which has been stolen from the left and distorted beyond belief. Iain Duncan Smith’s Social Justice strategy has devised many “new” schemes to attack the poor such as universal credit which abolished income support and other benefits. Cuts, bedroom tax, benefit sanctions, food banks, increased poverty, misery and despair under the guise of Social Justice have become the norm to poor, working class people. The kind of double think in George Orwell’s classic 1984 and Tracy Chapman’s song “Talkin ‘bout a Revolution;” where
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Jun 26 2014

THE DEMISE OF LABOURISM AND THE PASSING OF TONY BENN

Eric Chester (RCN) goes beyond the glowing tributes made to Tony Benn after he died earlier this year and takes a critical look his politics.

 

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Tony Benn was one of the most popular and respected figures on the Left in Scotland and throughout the UK. His recent death has been followed by many notices that have lavishly praised him and yet virtually no effort has been made to seriously examine the politics he represented.

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Mar 16 2014

TONY BENN: A MAN OF PRINCIPLE AND RADICAL DEMOCRAT

Category: Commemorations,Our HistoryRCN @ 8:39 pm

Bob Goupillot (RCN) provides this tribute to Tony Benn, who died on 14th March.

 

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At 7.30 this morning I heard that Tony Benn had died.  I first heard him speak in Darlington in the late 1970’s. I was in my early twenties.  That speech and subsequent ones plus two of his books; Arguments for Socialism and Arguments for Democracy made a large and lasting impact on my political and social beliefs.  I had considered myself a socialist ever since I could give my politics a name.  I can even remember taking part in some anti-Tory direct action in the street when I was still in short trousers.

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Mar 07 2014

Republican socialist candidate for the executive of the Left Unity Party

Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance is standing as for the  Executive of  the Left Unity Party. Steve spoke, along with Bernadette McAliskey and Mary MacGregor (RCN) at the 4 Nations After the UK session at the Radical Independence Campaign conference in Glasgow on 23rd November. This is the statement he has produced for the election.

 

Sisters and brothers, comrades and friends, I am standing for one of the fifteen directly elected national council members to represent a republican socialist perspective for Left Unity. I am in the Southwark branch of Left Unity. I am an active trade unionist in UCU. I am also a member of the Republican Socialist Alliance and the International Socialist Network.

In September the Scottish referendum presents a major danger for the British ruling class. Hence the leaders of all three major parties are united in favour of a ‘No’ vote. Cameron and Co. are currently mobilising all their economic and political forces and threatening financial sanctions, ejection from the EU and flight of capital if Scotland does not vote the ‘right’ way.

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