bnp humiliated in dalkeith

Our comrade in the Republican Communist Network saw the BNP fail to infiltrate an anti-rapist demonstration in Midlothian

Nick Griffin and 5 others i.e. his driver and minders turned up outside Dalkeith Country Park after cancelling their planned rally in Glasgow earlier that day. Their stated aim was to support an intended rally against the presence of, convicted rapist, Robert Greens in our community. It was good that there was little spontaneous support for the BNP despite a lot of media coverage e.g. in The Sun newspaper. There was little visible presence from BNP supporters, one demonstrator counted 17, I thought there were less, but it was hard to tell, all were driven in by car. The BNP website promised 50 Nationalists would turn up and they urged other British nationalists to join them.

The BNP presence was opposed by the majority of the anti-rapist protesters plus about 30-40 local anti-fascists who had been alerted via Midlothian Trades Council. There were groups from Palestinian Solidarity, Unite Against Fascism, current and ex SSP members, trade unionists representing, Unison, EIS, UCATT, and UCU, the local FE college, independent socialists, two members of Socialist Appeal and at least one other Labour Party member. There was no identifiable SNP presence but, we did receive a message from local SNP MSP Colin Beattie supporting Midlothian Trades Council stance, saying there was no place for BNP in Midlothian and that he would have liked to have been there to show his support but had a previous appointment. In the event no councillors, MSPs or our MP were present. Continue reading “bnp humiliated in dalkeith”

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what can we tell from the scottish local election?

By Allan Armstrong

The Scottish local council elections, held on May 5th, have attracted much wider interest than would normally normally be the case for such an event. The primary reason for this is the mounting speculation arising from the SNP Holyrood government’s promised Scottish independence referendum in 2014. The media has become more aware that the current UK constitutional arrangements face a real challenge. Therefore, whenever any Scottish election occurs, the runes are carefully being read to see if support for independence is growing or falling away.

The usual presumption is that votes for the SNP can be directly interpreted as support for Scottish independence. There are a number of problems with this. A vote for the SNP represents different things in different contexts. This can be seen by examining the very different voting patterns in the Westminster, Holyrood and local elections; and also by comparing these to polls showing the levels of support for Scottish independence (however this is understood). Continue reading “what can we tell from the scottish local election?”

The paradox of Nationalism as Internationalism from below

Barry Biddulph replies to Bob Goupillot and Allan Armstrong on communists and Scotland’s referendum.

Maclean – For a Scottish Workers’ Republic

Bob Goupillot and Allan Armstrong of the Republican Communist Network (RCN), want to create a new global order. Yet their starting point for a communist transition is a national territorial framework in general, as they acknowledge, and Scotland in particular. They argue that they are not nationalists, but internationalists, with a strategy of internationalism from below, in which small nation nationalism can be transformed into internationalism. This is a  paradox. What is their tactical and strategic standpoint? Continue reading “The paradox of Nationalism as Internationalism from below”

Communists and Scotland’s Referendum

In the light of the SNP’s referendum initiative, Bob Goupillot and Allan Armstrong of the Republican Communist Network continue our debate on Scottish independence.

To better understand our approach to this issue it is useful, by way of a preamble, to provide a thumbnail sketch of our understanding of the international context.

The modern form of capitalism is a developed imperialism dominated by the United States. US imperialism relies on a series of local allies at strategic locations around the world. In western Europe the USA’s main ally is the UK state, which thereby provides a linchpin for the whole system.

In this context we see our role as communists to work towards the transformation of the existing states on these islands into becoming part of a federation of European socialist republics in a transition to a stateless world – a global commune. Continue reading “Communists and Scotland’s Referendum”

a reply to joe thorne’s ‘the republican communist network’s ‘internationalism from below’ and the case of scotland: a critical view’

The Republican Communist Network (Scotland) have written a collective response to an earlier article by Joe Thorne.

Introduction

The RCN would like to thank Joe for his contribution to the ongoing debate amongst the commune membership on the ‘National Question’. This has followed from the paper, The communist case for ‘internationalism from below’, which Allan Armstrong presented to the second Global Commune event in Edinburgh on May 22nd, 2010. In one of the two workshops held on this topic, Joe and others raised a number of specific questions about the RCN’s attitude to Scottish independence. Joe followed this up by writing, The RCN’s ‘internationalism from below’ and the case of Scotland: a critical view. Continue reading “a reply to joe thorne’s ‘the republican communist network’s ‘internationalism from below’ and the case of scotland: a critical view’”

the national question: for active involvement in all our class’s struggles

Allan Armstrong replies to Clifford Biddulph’s No nationalist solutions

Clifford Biddulph’s No nationalist solutions (issue no. 15 of The Commune) consists mainly of a reply to my article, The Communist Case for Internationalism from Below.  This was written for the Second Global Commune event held on May 22nd in Edinburgh. I appreciate the time Clifford has taken to contribute to this debate. However, there will probably need to be a number of further articles before readers can fully appreciate the politics underlying our two approaches.

Clifford’s reply only addresses a few of the arguments, which I put forward in this article. Instead, Clifford puts forward his own particular critique of nationalism – the neo-Luxemburgist variant of the cosmopolitan approach, which I have already examined and found wanting. Of course, it is perfectly valid for Clifford to write an article offering his own view and to outline its particular origins. In doing so, however, he hasn’t dealt with my critique of the two main approaches to nationalism and the struggle for national self-determination found on the Left – (con)federal and cosmopolitan. Continue reading “the national question: for active involvement in all our class’s struggles”

the republican communist network’s ‘internationalism from below’ and the case of scotland: a critical view

by Joe Thorne

The Republican Communist Network (Scotland) has developed a distinctive view on the national question which they call ‘Internationalism from below‘.

The Scottish working class ignited the struggle against the poll tax - but is the demand for independence a positive one?

Although the theory represents a comprehensive attempt to deal with the national question, in this article I will solely discuss it through the prism of the question of Scottish independence. This provides the most obvious and relevant case study through which to draw out the real implications of the theory, an approach which is necessary since I will be unable here to develop a comprehensive alternative account of the national question. Continue reading “the republican communist network’s ‘internationalism from below’ and the case of scotland: a critical view”