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Scottish political websites… January 18, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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A good friend of the CLR was asking about the situation with Scottish political sites. They know of Common Space and Wings over Scotland, but what other would people recommend, particularly those on the radical left?

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1. Colm B - January 18, 2020

In terms of left websites, best of the lot IMO is Bella Caledonia. Not linked to any political organisation, its a good mix of culture, politics etc.

https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/

Women Against Capitalism is a unique radical community women’s organisation based in Castlemilk, a large working class area on the southern periphery of Glasgow. They combine radical politics with practical community work:

https://www.facebook.com/onlineWAC

Conter is a website run by some left-wing Labour folk and former leading members of RISE, the now defunct left alliance:

https://www.conter.co.uk/

Emancipation and Liberation used to be the website of the now defunct Republican Communist Network but if now run by the widely respected veteran socialist Allan Armstrong:

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/

Scottish Left Review is a centre-left publication featuring articles by socialists in Labour, the SNP, Greens etc.

http://www.scottishleftreview.scot/

A small left organisation with decent politics is the group of SWP veterans who broke away from that organisation during the infamous rape scandal. They formed a UK wide organisation called RS21 which a UK-wide and a Scottish website. They’ve retained some of the SWP’s orientation but are open, democratic and good to work with:

https://www.isscotland.org/

The rest of the small and largely ineffective left organizations in Scotland such as the Taffeites of the SPS, the rump SSP, Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity and the SWP (Scotland) have websites, if you are a fan of repetitive dogma, endless general revolutionary rhetoric or, in Sheridan’s case just barmy sub-stalinist crap mixed with emotive nationalist tropes. Sorry but you’ll have to look them up yourself!

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2. Colm B - January 18, 2020

Forgot to say Wings is the centre of a nasty homophobic right-wing nationalism. There’s talk of it spawning a right-wing Scottish nationalist party, which would be a new and unwelcome development, given the general left orientation of the pro-indy movement.

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Paul Culloty - January 18, 2020

And let’s not forget Joanne Cherry’s recent spats with the LGBT community in that regard.

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Colm B - January 18, 2020

But that conflict did not arise from Cherry, who is herself openly gay, expressing right-wing views about the LGBT community in general but from the on-going clash between those with a certain feminist approach and the transgender community. In as far as I understand the debate, I don’t agree with Cherry’s position (I think its called “gender critical feminism” or what critics call a TERF position) but she is definitely not in the Wings camp nor would anyone characterise her as a right-wing nationalist.

Wings is trans-phobic, homophobic, anti-environmentalist, anti-left etc. etc. so its quite inaccurate to lump Cherry, and the other SNP/Labour women reps who take a GCF/TERF position, in the same camp with Wings, even if we find their position on trans people’s rights objectionable. Im not a particular fan of hers, its just inaccurate to try to associate her with the “WIngs wing” of nationalism.

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3. Colm B - January 18, 2020

Sorry, my original comment listing various left sites seems to have disappeared into the ether, will have to re-submit

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Fergal - January 18, 2020

I read a book years ago on Scottish history from a left republican perspective… I can’t remember its title or the writer… great read, I’d love to revisit it as it’s become much more relevant today!! Any ideas Colm? Thanks!

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WorldbyStorm - January 18, 2020

Tom Nairn perhaps?

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CL - January 18, 2020

A People’s History of Scotland-Chris Bambery,…?

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CL - January 18, 2020

or, maybe, ‘The Rousing of the Scottish Working Class’, by-James D. Young.

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4. tdf - January 18, 2020

As correctly stated above, while the pro-Indy movement might lean generally to the left, there is nothing left about the “Wings Over Scotland” blog. In addition, when it comes down to it, the SNP in its current form is not, of course, a genuine Scottish independence party. It seems to be a pro-EU and broadly social democratic party with some left wing members.

“There’s talk of it spawning a right-wing Scottish nationalist party, which would be a new and unwelcome development, given the general left orientation of the pro-indy movement.”

I disagree however that if the likes of Wings Over Scotland – or anyone – spanwed a new right wing Scottish nationalist party, that that would be unwelcome. In my view, if something if that nature occured, it would simply make clear what should have been obvious all along – that Scottish nationalism, as with all kinds of nationalism, has always had nasty and reactionary elements. Those who cleaved to the right would presumably go with this new right-wing party. Frankly, I’m uncomfortable with the amount of sheer power the SNP have at the moment, much as there are many good people in it.

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Colm B - January 19, 2020

I’m also uncomfortable with the SNPs monopoly of the formal political representation of the pro-Indy.
I don’t agree that the emergence of a right wing nationalist party would be a good thing: that could pull the SNP to the right, when, since the 2014 referendum the pressure has been to tack (slightly) to the left so as to outflank Labour and prevent the emergence of a pro-Indy left party. Also scottish nationalism today, as embodied by the broad Yes movement is generally progressive and intolerant of racist/reactionary nationalism. A right-wing nationalist party would revive the vaguely blood and soil nationalism of an earlier period and provide massive propaganda opportunities for the liberal/blairite wing of unionism. Worst of all if Scotland wins independence soon, everything will be up for grabs and such a party could have an extremely negative influence on the shape of the new state.

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tdf - January 19, 2020

“..since the 2014 referendum the pressure has been to tack (slightly) to the left so as to outflank Labour and prevent the emergence of a pro-Indy left party”

“Also scottish nationalism today, as embodied by the broad Yes movement is generally progressive and intolerant of racist/reactionary nationalism. A right-wing nationalist party would revive the vaguely blood and soil nationalism of an earlier period and provide massive propaganda opportunities for the liberal/blairite wing of unionism.”

Points taken.

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5. Colm B - January 19, 2020

Sorry Fergal, can’t think of any other books other than those below unless it’s Allan Armstrong’s book on the links between Davitt, Connolly and Scottish radical movements?

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Fergal - January 19, 2020

Thanks Wbs, CL and Colm B… I’m still lost but now I have some great books to read to boot

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