1. Alec Abbott says:

    Dear Philip,

    I see from the above that you will be speaking on the Irish Rebellion. This is heartening. One of the few British groups to organize Irish Rebellion events in Britain is the Revolutionary Communist Group. Recently I posted an open letter to the RCG (see http://www.rosclarb.uk ). In it I wrote: ‘One of the few Marxists to apply Lenin’s analysis of the national question to both the Scottish and Irish situations is Philip Ferguson. After stating that Scotland is very much an “integral part of British imperialism”, and that it no more has a “subordinate and oppressed relation to England” than does Yorkshire, he went on to argue: “In Ireland, in order to unite the working class it is necessary to oppose Unionism, partition and British rule because those are the things which prevent working class unity. In Britain (i.e., Scotland, Wales and England), the working class is already united, and yet some people want to break it up. I do not see the sense in that.” ‘ (http://lists.csbs.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism/2004-June/109912.html) I hope I’ve interpreted your position correctly. I’d very much welcome your comments.

    Alec Abbott

  2. Admin says:

    Yes, that would be my position. It’s not a particularly popular one and not one shared by many Irish left-republicans, let alone my Scottish friends! Never mind. I just can’t see Scotland as an oppressed nation. Ireland, definitely; Wales, maybe/unsure; but Scotland, no.

    I’m not British nor do I live in Britain, so I tend to avoid arguing about it much. I’m not a fan of the trend of thought which is ‘expert’ on everyone else’s revolution but hopeless at much in relation to their own country, so I tend generally to steer clear of big pronouncements about stuff like Scottish nationalism.

    I stick to what I know – New Zealand and Ireland. However, I did live in Britain, on and off, for about 8 years, so I did form opinions about the British left, British history, the British labour movement and so on, and I think these have stood up fairly well to the test of time. But the more time goes by, the less and less I tend to comment on any part of Britain.

    On Redline, in relation to stuff on Britain, we tend to rely on a few British left commentators, such as my friend Tony Norfield.


    • Alec Abbott says:

      Thanks for answering my question. I take your point about not getting too involved in debates about other people’s revolutions, which I think is a principled position for you to hold.


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