Sep 03 2020

LABOUR’S HISTORIC DEFEAT IN SCOTLAND

We are posting this article by Steve Freeman first posted on the Republican Socialist Alliance outlining, mainly for the benefit of republican socialists in England, the Scottish dimension of ‘Labour’s historic defeat’.

 

LABOUR’S HISTORIC DEFEAT IN SCOTLAND

 

Stunned?
Resting?
Pining for the ‘Spirit of 45’?

You may remember the famous Monty Python sketch about a parrot returned by a dissatisfied customer, John Cleese, to the pet-shop run by Michael Palin. As Cleese enters the shop, Palin says, “We are closing for lunch”. Cleese says “Never mind that, my lad, I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.” Palin replies “oh yes, the, ur, the Norwegian Blue. What, uh, what is wrong with it”. “I tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad,” says Cleese, “E’s dead, that’s what is wrong with it”.“No, no e’s uh…. he’s resting” claims Palin. Continue reading “LABOUR’S HISTORIC DEFEAT IN SCOTLAND”

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Jul 02 2020

THE CRISIS OF THE LABOUR PARTY

Steve Freeman takes a different view if  the crisis in the British Labour Party from the views taken  by the British Left. Steve relates the crisis in the Labour Party to the ongoing collapse of the post-1945  UK’s social monarchist welfare state. 

 

THE CRISIS IN THE LABOUR PARTY

              

I want to begin with a nursery rhyme which sums up the character of the present political stage we are living through.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again

This is in original a civil war story about the royalist army having a very big cannon – called Humpty Dumpty – sitting on a wall before being knocked out by the parliamentary forces, such that all the kings horses etc. couldn’t fix it.

.I am going to discuss the Report of Labour Together – the 2019 Election Review’(RLT). We are discussing the situation before Covid 19 or Black Lives Matter. These are the immediate issues that are at the front of our minds today. Why go back over the ‘ancient’ history of a Labour defeat best forgotten? The answer is we can learn a considerable amount about the state of peoples’ views or political consciousness, as expressed through England’s two-party system, and revealed in their voting behaviour in December 2019. This ‘moment’ was a mass event with millions of participants and therefore worthy of critical analysis. Continue reading “THE CRISIS OF THE LABOUR PARTY”

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Dec 04 2014

EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION RIC 2014 conference special magazine

We are posting the two lead articles from Emancipation & Liberation, issue no. 23, produced for the 3000 strong Radical Independence Campaign conference held in Glasgow, in the Clydeside Auditorium on Saturday, November 22nd. The first is by Murdo Ritchie (RCN), the second by Allan Armstrong (RCN).

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WHEN DECADES HAPPEN – AFTER THE REFERENDUM

 

“There are decades in which nothing happens and there are weeks in which decades happen.” Lenin

When 1,517,989 voters (44.7%) declared they were prepared to abandon their primary, legal national identity to build a better Scotland, it was clear that Scottish national independence was coming. The defeated felt triumphant; the victorious worried.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement on the morning of the ballot declaration was filled with wishful thinking, “the debate has settled for a generation or as Alex Salmond has said, perhaps for a lifetime. So there can be no disputes, no re-runs –we have heard the settled will of the Scottish people.” The media may have declared the result decisive but the numbers and mood told otherwise.

Continue reading “EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION RIC 2014 conference special magazine”

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Nov 30 2014

ENGLAND SAYS “YES!”

Murdo Ritchie (RCN) reviews the pamphlet produced by Republican Socialist Alliance, The Crown versus the People. England’s Case for Voting ‘Yes’. 

The Scottish referendum opened space for republican ideas to be discussed not just in Scotland but throughout the rest of the United Kingdom. The Scottish Republican Yes Tendency in the Left Unity party was launched to promote a “Yes” vote in the party. This pamphlet is a valuable part of its case. It will succeed because the enormous consequences for England of the struggle for Scottish national independence are becoming better appreciated after the vote. It is an ongoing process.

Continue reading “ENGLAND SAYS “YES!””

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Aug 15 2014

WALES AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE – Leanne Wood, President of Plaid Cymru

Last year, in the run-up to the second RIC Conference, the Edinburgh branch put forward a proposal to organise a session on ‘Internationalism from below and the break-up of the UK, with speakers from Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, This was agreed agreed and Mary MacGregor ( Dundee RIC), Bernadette McAliskey, Steve Freeman (Republican Socialist Alliance in England) and Leanne Wood (President, Plaid Cymru) were all invited to speak. Unfortunately, Leanne had another engagement and sent her apologies.

In June, some Plaid Cymru activists met with Pat Smith and Allan Armstrong of the Edinburgh RIC branch, and with Glasgow RIC members. The net result of this was decision to reinvite Leanne to speak in Scotland. In the event, the venue chosen was Glasgow. And, as you will to read from Leanne’s talk below, this was a particularly appropriate decision. 

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Leanne Wood speaking to RIC public meeting in St. Andrews Hall, Glasgow, July 22nd

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I want to thank you for the invitation to speak to you this evening. 
It is a particular pleasure to address you at this venue.

The last Welsh political leader to visit this building, as I understand, was David Lloyd George back in 1917 as Prime Minister, when this building was known as St Andrew’s Hall.

Continue reading “WALES AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE – Leanne Wood, President of Plaid Cymru”

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May 01 2014

WORLD WAR 1: GLORIOUS VICTORY OR IMPERIALIST BLOODBATH

 

In the third article from the RCN’s May Day Special Bulletin, Eric Chester (RCN), Convener of the Scottish Peace Network’s August 4 Working Group, examines the reality behind the First World War, and the UK government’s attempts to rehabilitate British imperialism’s role, to prepare the working class today for future imperial sacrifice.

 

One hundred years ago the world was engulfed in one of the deadliest conflicts in history. World War I brought the deaths of tens of millions, and tens of millions more were severely wounded. The war lasted more than four years as it spread throughout the globe. World War I had an enormous impact on the course of history, and its effects are still felt to this day. In a very real sense, World War I marked the end of the old world of tradition and stability and led to a new world of constant change and pervasive insecurity.

Continue reading “WORLD WAR 1: GLORIOUS VICTORY OR IMPERIALIST BLOODBATH”

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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).

Continue reading “ALEX SALMOND AND THE WRITTEN CONSTITUTION”

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