Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘British Empire’ Category

Did Lenin Сreate Ukraine? On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination and Marxism

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Why do Marxists defend the right of nations to self-determination? What does the struggle for national liberation have to do with the workers’ struggle? Social researcher Grusha Gilaeva analyzes the positions of Marx and Lenin on the national question and explains why the left movement must support the anti-colonial struggle of Ukraine

Did Lenin Сreate Ukraine? On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination and Marxism

Grusha Gilaveva’s fascinating article comes from the Russian left-wing publication Posle. Gilaveva argues, in a very convincing manner, that Marx and Engels started out in the 1840’s opposing the rights of small nations to self-determination – inspired by a blanket opposition to all nationalism – but changed their policy after 1867. Marx and Engels were heavily influenced by Ireland’s struggle for liberation from the British Empire, and the Phoenix like rise and fall of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), the Fenians. Policy divisions on the question of self-determination for small nations continued within the Marxist second and third internationals in the twentieth century. Bolshevik leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin championed a policy favouring the rights of small nations and nationalities – and was opposed by revolutionary comrades such as Karl Radek and Rosa Luxemburg. Once again Ireland featured strongly in the debate among revolutionary Marxists. The Easter 1916 Rising in Dublin, although it was militarily crushed by British artillery, inspired socialists all over the globe who were fighting against the barbaric World War 1. The impact was brilliantly described by the famous North American feminist revolutionary Louise Bryant in “The Masses”, published in July 1916. “The Masses” can be accessed here : https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/masses/index.htm

Louise Bryant Describes the Global Impact of the 1916 Rising in Ireland

An alliance between the descendants of the IRB (the Irish Volunteers led by Pádraig Pearse) and a brand-new working class actor fighting for Irish Freedom, James Connolly’s Irish Citizen Army (ICA), inflicted devastating wounds on the most powerful empire the world had ever seen in those early years of the 20th century.

The 1917 Russian Bolshevik Revolution began to go badly wrong in the 1920’s. An early sign that all was not well was Great Russian chauvinist suppression of smaller nations such as Ukraine. We live with and suffer from terrible consequences today. We cannot change history, but we can learn from it.

John Meehan January 25 2023

Grusha Gilayeva

Did Lenin Сreate Ukraine? On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination and Marxism

Source : Posle https://posle.media/language/en/was-ukraine-created-by-lenin-once-again-about-marxism-and-the-right-of-nations-to-self-determination%ef%bf%bc/

Why do Marxists defend the right of nations to self-determination? What does the struggle for national liberation have to do with the workers’ struggle? Social researcher Grusha Gilaeva analyzes the positions of Marx and Lenin on the national question and explains why the left movement must support the anti-colonial struggle of Ukraine

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The British Royal Family is “unequal, outdated, and should be consigned to the dustbin of history” – Agree or Disagree?

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Read the news items below and decide for yourself if the statement above – written by West Belfast Stormont Assembly member Gerry Carroll (People Before Profit) – should be supported by everyone on the anti-imperialist left in Ireland.

I think the answer is Yes – and this should not be a controversial opinion, especially in Ireland. Unfortunately, some prominent public figures disagree. Lies about the British Royal Family resemble a mountain of dead dogs, and fresh stinking corpses are added daily.

Reliable news reports tell us that the English Prince Andrew, brother of British King Charles, is getting support from a convicted child abuse criminal.

A courageous woman, Virginia Giuffre, successfully won substantial damages in a USA court from the British Prince, who was a close associate of the convicted child abuse criminals Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

“Maxwell, who paid out millions to Giuffre herself in a separate lawsuit in 2017, was jailed for child sex trafficking in connection with Epstein.

But she claimed in an interview with CBS that Ms Giuffre’s claims are unfounded, and that she did not introduce her “dear friend” Prince Andrew to the teenager as had been claimed.

Ms Giuffre said: “My goal has been to show the rich and powerful are not above the law and should be held accountable.” Source : https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/prince-andrew-overturn-claim-by-sex-accuser-virginia-giuffre/

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Readers might assume that no self-respecting Irish political leader would risk getting close to the sinister Buckingham House royal parasites.

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Outrage as UK Tories attack Trans Rights and Scottish Devolution

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Unpopular British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – whose Brexit Tory party is around 20 per cent behind the opposition Labour Party in most credible opinion polls – has picked a fight with the Scottish Parliament over a minor administrative reform which improves the human rights of transgender people.

Across the British state, writes Mike Picken, there is a growing opposition to the Conservative UK government’s unprecedented blocking of a Scottish Parliament legislative Bill on transgender rights passed last month – the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

After weeks of misleading propaganda about what the Bill says and its implications for UK wide legislation, on 17 January the Tory government at Westminster announced they were going for the so-called ‘nuclear’ option of blocking the Bill using a ‘section 35 order’.

The ‘section 35’ mechanism is part of the 1998 legislation that created the Scottish Parliament and was only ever intended to be used as a last resort, if there was a grave threat of the Scottish Parliament trampling over other rights across the UK. During the passage of the 1998 legislation it was dubbed the ‘Governor-General’ clause, a reference to the British Empire’s colonial controllers, as it gives total discretion to a government minister to overrule democratic decisions. It has never been used before now and the legal basis presented by the UK government has been widely described as completely flimsy.

‘Section 35’ is being used to overturn the Scottish Bill as a political move by a reactionary government against progressive legislation, not because of an infringement of rights.

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Parliament Blocks Scottish Parliament Transgender Law Reform – British Labour Leader Keir Starmer Surrenders to the Union-Jack Far-Right

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Rishi Sunak’s governing Tories at Westminster have blocked a minor administrative human rights reform adopted by the Scottish Parliament which protects the rights of a very small minority, transgender people. It is an easy-peasy issue for all people on the liberal/social-democratic spectrum in Ireland – ranging from the entire left into significant sectors of the big right wing parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

In Scotland a similar liberal/social-democratic spectrum includes the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), the SNP’s government coalition partner the Greens, and the Scottish Labour Party.
The Scottish Parliament voted for this minor reform – which is less favourable to transgender people than the existing law in the 26 county bit of Ireland – by 86 votes to 39. This huge majority followed a very long drawn-out debate.

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Government Blocks the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform legislation – A “constitutional nuclear ☢️ option”

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster government is using a “constitutional nuclear ☢️ option” (see Financial Times report below) to block a Scottish parliament gender recognition reform.

Financial Times, January 16 2023

This Changes Everything

Mike Small reports on the Scottish Bella Caledonia blog : https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2023/01/16/this-changes-everything-2/

Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary, has confirmed that the British government is using article 35 to block the Scottish government gender recognition reform bill. This is unprecedented and represents a full-on attack on the devolution settlement. It’s a desperate escalation and dramatically ups the stakes for not just the British government but also the Labour and Scottish Labour party. Will Anas Arwar simply over-turn his parties own position? It is billed as an attack on the SNP but it is actually an attack on the Scottish Parliament where the legislation received cross-party support after years of delays, amendments and debate.

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Oh Ah, Up the Ra “One Song Two Reactions – Why is it different when the rugby boys sing Celtic Symphony?” – Joe Brolly, Derry All-Ireland Winner, Gaelic Athletic Association

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This story assesses three sporting activities in Ireland – Gaelic Games, Soccer, and Rugby. It shines a light on a misogynous (woman-hating) West-British media culture.

Thanks to the Dublin Council of Trade Unions for bringing this story to our attention.

See Also : https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/10/12/double-standards-applied-to-irish-womens-soccer-team-song-author-derek-warfield-declares-dont-tell-that-you-cant-sing-celtic-symphony-but-you-can-sing-god-save-the-king/

Joe Brolly in the Sunday Independent, January 8 2023 :

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Voters in the British State Reject Brexit – The Emperors Have No Clothes

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Lots of recent data tells us that voters in the British state – in the nations of England, Scotland, Wales (and in the statelet called Northern Ireland) – reject Brexit. Here is the latest graphic :

Rejecting Brexit – Well Outside the Margin of Error

The polling expert John Curtice publishes lots of interesting information on this and other related subjects.

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Your Man Over There Thinks the Anti-Franco Republican Forces Should Not Have Sought Weapons from the Brits, Yanks and French Imperialist Hypocrites during the 1930’s Spanish Civil War – A Proxy War if Ever I saw One!

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In this respect the British writer Paul Mason is correct :

Imagine an alt-history of the Spanish Civil War where, after some initial reversals, the anti-fascist side starts winning. They drive back Franco’s armies largely because France, Britain and the USA reject “non-intervention” and send in heavy weapons, offsetting the support coming from Hitler and Mussolini. In this scenario, does anyone seriously think the global left would have pulled its support for the Republican side because of “imperialist aggression”? Would they have denounced the Spanish conflict as a “proxy war”. Would they have convened an international conference calling for the end of all arms supplies to the anti-fascists in the name of “Peace”? Would they have called for negotiations with Franco, advocating a settlement “acceptable to all”?

https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org/2022/12/20/ukraine-which-side-are-you-on/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

The same point is made here, drawing on an example from the actions of Irish revolutionaries during World War 1 – the Easter 1916 Rebels launched an uprising against British Imperialism using weapons supplied by the German Kaiser.

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Snow Black – A Modern Fairy Tale – English Monarchy Dissected by Irish Feminist Rosita Sweetman

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Meghan Markle as Snow Black; England’s Wicked Queen as England’s Wicked Queen and so on – all are present in this dark fairy tale.

Snow Black – A Modern Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Queen. One day she pricked her finger. Three drops of blood fell on her black windowsill. Looking out at the winter snow the Queen said, I wish for a son with golden red hair, a black daughter in law, both with hearts as white as snow.

The Queen gave birth to a baby boy with golden red hair.

Then the Queen died. Everyone thought it was an accident but actually the Queen was desperately unhappy. The King was not a good man. He had deceived the Queen into marrying him while all the time he was having sex with another married woman. As soon as the beautiful Queen was out of the way he and the other woman got married.

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Local politicians Smile for the Camera with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the North of Ireland – Don’t mention the Elephant in the Room – Brexit

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John Hurson brought this parody real picture to our attention. He chose a very appropriate James Connolly quotation to describe the scene.

“Yes, ruling by fooling, is a great British art with great Irish fools to practice on.”
James Connolly

“Yes, ruling by fooling, is a great British art with great Irish fools to practice on.”

James Connolly

John Hurson hits the nail on the head – this gaggle of politicians cannot agree a formula to restore Stormont. The reason is Brexit, which is opposed by a large majority of people living in Ireland.

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