Jul 20 2018

CATALONIA: A NATION THROWN FORWARD

Murdo Ritchie reviews Catalonia Reborn. How Catalonia Took on the Corrupt Spanish State and the Legacy of Franco, Chris Bambery & George Kerevan, Luath Press, 2018.

 

CATALONIA – A NATION THROWN FORWARD

When exiled Catalan minister Clara Ponsati spoke recently in Edinburgh she had to explain why the Spanish Constitution was not a mechanism of popular protection, but a way of ordering the transition from the Franco dictatorship to a world acceptable to the Spanish elite and international imperialism. The Spanish state promoted the illusion that the referendum and the declaration of independence were against the law and a popularly agreed constitution. Regrettably, the way the so-called democratic transition was manipulated into existence is badly understood outside of Spain. Continue reading “CATALONIA: A NATION THROWN FORWARD”

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Jun 22 2018

ALLAN ARMSTRONG REVIEWS ‘THE RED AND THE GREEN’ BY GERARD CAIRNS

Review of The Red and the Green – Portrait of John Maclean by Gerard Cairns

Gerard Cairns has recently published his informative and challenging new book, The Red and the Green – A Portrait of John Maclean. I have known Gerry since the early 1990s and I would find it hard to call him Gerard, so I will use Gerry for the rest of this review.

The book’s title reveals the two main aspects of Gerry’s assessment of John Maclean. The Red and the Green highlights Gerry’s research into ‘Red’ John and his relationship with the ‘Green’ or Irish community on Clydeside .[1] A Portrait of John Maclean examines Maclean the political activist and family man. It raises questions about how Socialists organise and relate to others, especially their partners and families. When assessing  Maclean, Gerry brings his own personal experience to bear. “This has been a very personal portrait of a man I have researched, studied, lectured on, debated for a long time.” [2] Thus Gerry’s book is viewed through the prism of his own life of political activism. Continue reading “ALLAN ARMSTRONG REVIEWS ‘THE RED AND THE GREEN’ BY GERARD CAIRNS”

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May 10 2018

JOHN MACLEAN – SPEECH FROM THE DOCK, 9th May 1918

It is the centenary of John Maclean’s Speech from the Dock on 9th May 1918. Emancipation & Liberation  are commemorating the occasion by posting it this famous speech.

 

SPEECH FROM THE DOCK

John Maclean making his Speech from the Dock in Edinburgh on the 9th May, 1918

 

It has been said that they cannot fathom my motive. For the full period of my active life I have been a teacher of economics to the working classes, and my contention has always been that capitalism is rotten to its foundations, and must give place to a new society. I had a lecture, the principal heading of which was “Thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not kill”, and I pointed out that as a consequence of the robbery that goes on in all civilised countries today, our respective countries have had to keep armies, and that inevitably our armies must clash together. On that and on other grounds, I consider capitalism the most infamous, bloody and evil system that mankind has ever witnessed. My language is regarded as extravagant language, but the events of the past four years have proved my contention. Continue reading “JOHN MACLEAN – SPEECH FROM THE DOCK, 9th May 1918”

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Oct 29 2016

FOR AN INTERNATIONALIST REPUBLICAN POLITICS THAT ADAPTS TO 21st CENTURY TERRAINS OF STRUGGLE

John Tummon of the Republican Socialist Alliance makes a plea for a new international republican politics. For an Internationalist Republican politics that adapts to 21st century terrains of struggle.

John Tummon

FOR AN INTERNATIONALIST REPUBLICAN POLITICS THAT ADAPTS TO 21st CENTURY TERRAINS OF STRUGGLE

The Dalmeny Declaration of 15 October 2016 argued the need for a “new federal, social and secular European republic, with a written constitution and a Bill of Rights based on the democratic principle that economic and political power shall be in the hands of the sovereign people of Europe. The constitution will include the democratic “right of nations to self-determination” including the right to leave”.
Continue reading “FOR AN INTERNATIONALIST REPUBLICAN POLITICS THAT ADAPTS TO 21st CENTURY TERRAINS OF STRUGGLE”

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Mar 28 2016

THE EASTER RISING AND THE SOVIET UNION: AN UNTOLD CHAPTER IN IRELAND’S GREAT REBELLION

This article by Brendan McGeever was first posted on OpenDemocracyUK at:- https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brendan-mcgeever/easter-rising-and-soviet-union-untold-chapter-in-ireland-s-great-rebellion#.VvUvpKvURyY.twitter

 

THE EASTER RISING AND THE SOVIET UNION: AN UNTOLD CHAPTER IN IRELAND’S GREAT REBELLION

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In a previously undocumented corner of history, research in old Soviet archives shows the extent of the USSR’s interest in Ireland’s Easter Rising.

It is early July, 1920. Roddy Connolly, teenage participant in the Easter Rising, is travelling without a passport in a cargo boat through the Norwegian fiords. The destination: Soviet Russia. As they edge towards the northern tips of the Kola Peninsula, the boat is blown off course by an incoming storm, pushing them some 250 miles towards the North Pole. After bouts of seasickness, they eventually dock in a besieged Murmansk, where Connolly begins a three-day rail journey across Civil War-torn Russia. Finally, he reaches revolutionary Petrograd, just in time for the opening of the Second World Congress of the Communist International. On arrival he is warmly greeted by Vladimir Lenin, who informs him that not only has he read his father’s book Labour and Irish History, but that he rates him “head and shoulders” above his contemporaries in the European socialist movement (1).
Continue reading “THE EASTER RISING AND THE SOVIET UNION: AN UNTOLD CHAPTER IN IRELAND’S GREAT REBELLION”

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Mar 25 2013

THE CRISIS IN THE SWP:- The failure of the Central Committee’s ‘recruit, recruit, recruit’ tactics

This article  examines one aspect of the current crisis enveloping the SWP. The SWP has not had a  programme, so it has no real strategy for achieving the socialism it claims to support. Instead, the SWP leadership concentrates on the tactics it thinks will bring it new members. In the SWP leadership’s thinking, socialism will come about through an arithmetical increase in SWP members. Allan Armstrong, himself a former member of the SWP and its predecessor organisation, the International Socialists between 1972-82, looks into the history of the SWP’s lack of programme and strategy, and some of the results of its concentration on recruitment tactics.

thThe SWP is currently undergoing a severe, and possibly a terminal crisis. The immediate causes of this crisis lie in the expulsion of four members for planning to meet to form a faction before the 2013 Party Conference; and the allegations of sexual assault directed against Central Committee (CC) member, ‘Comrade Delta’. As elsewhere in Britain, Scottish SWP members are divided between CC loyalists and dissidents.

Just before this crisis exploded into the public arena, the SWP published a contribution to the Scottish independence referendum debate – Scotland – Yes to independence, No to nationalism. This pamphlet has been written the SWP’s Scottish organiser, Keir McKechnie. SWP organisers are appointed by the CC. So, there can be little doubt, where Keir’s allegiances lie in the current dispute in the SWP.

Continue reading “THE CRISIS IN THE SWP:- The failure of the Central Committee’s ‘recruit, recruit, recruit’ tactics”

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