ANOTHER ENGLAND IS POSSIBLE

 

An Appeal to the Radical Independence Campaign

 

Dear comrades,

 

I will be standing in the general election in London as an anti-Unionist republican socialist. I am appealing for your endorsement and support.

 

Last September I spoke at the “London Say Yes” rally with Bernadette McAliskey (Ireland) and Allan Armstrong (Scotland) in solidarity with RIC. My campaign will carry the message the ‘forty five percent’ sent to the Westminster establishment. 

 

In November 2014 I attended the Radical Independence Campaign conference and supported the “People’s Vow” made on behalf of the “disappointed, the disaffected, the impoverished and the frightened”. It declared “the referendum has changed Scotland utterly. For perhaps the first time in their lives, a majority of working-class people felt empowered to take politics into their own hands”. This message from Scotland must be presented to people of England, Ireland and Wales.

 

The People’s Vow

 

The RIC conference declared the People’s Vow was addressed to the “street cleaner, the nurse and the teacher” who are “the oxygen in society’s blood-flow, from which the plutocrat draws like a syringe”. Before the referendum RIC said that “Britain is for the rich, but that Scotland could be ours. ….. another Scotland is possible. Both are as true now as they were then. We are ready to fight for this future”.

 

The People’s Vow stands in opposition to the ‘Westminster system’ which “has become unaccountable and corrupt beyond repair”. The democratic revolution begun in Scotland must be revived and extended until we win a social republic, end of Unionism and build a new relationship between the peoples of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

 

For a social republic

 

“We Vow to establish a republic………We fight for the sovereignty of its people”.

 

End Austerity

 

“We Vow to end the austerity which has become the creed of the London elite. We reject their crusade against the poor”.

 

Expand the Public sector

 

“We Vow to renationalise or retain in public hands those industries which are in the common good”.

 

For Green and sustainable Energy

 

“We Vow to establish green and sustainable energy. The planet is not the plaything of those who exist in the present”.

 

Fight discrimination and inequality

 

“We Vow an opposition to discrimination on grounds of gender, race, disability or sexuality. We are a community of citizens”

 

For internationalism

 

“We Vow to be internationalist. We are opposed to war – and imperialist entities like NATO”

 

From the referendum

 

The 2014 referendum campaign was the most important political event in the UK in the last decade. The Scottish people began an unprecedented process of political engagement and mobilisation on the road to a democratic revolution. It is significant that forty five percent of the Scottish people rejected Westminster and voted for independence including a majority in Glasgow and Dundee.

 

On September 18 the movement was derailed by the No vote. There were many reasons for this, not least “collusion from all corners of the British establishment, to deceive and intimidate the Scottish electorate” into voting No. Despite the set back this is not the end of the story. The desire for democratic change, once awakened cannot be easily be extinguished. Nor should it be.

 

One problem, often underestimated, is the gap between the radicalisation in Scotland and passivity and neutrality of the working class movement in England. A minority actively supported RIC, including the ‘London Says Yes’ rally. But not enough was done to awaken, educate and organise mass support for anti-Unionism in England. Next time must be different.

 

Forward to the general election

 

The election provides a golden opportunity to change the future direction of the left in England. This is not about winning seats but changing minds. There has to be a shift away from traditional British left politics to the kind of politics pioneered by RIC and encapsulated in the RIC vows. The message from Scotland has to be absorbed by people in England and Wales. It has to take shape in the organisation of a new kind of campaigning party. 

Let’s use the election to begin a dialogue between the ‘Commonwealth of England’ and the people of these islands about a better more democratic future than is being offered by the Westminster parties, as planned by the British Crown and the City of London.

 

Steve Freeman

Republican Socialist candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

email: steve@republicansocialists.org.uk

Website: http://www.republicansocialists.org.uk

 

 

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