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Correspondence: Raynor Lysaght and the debate on Scotland

8 February 2015

Raynor Lysaght has devoted his life to the Irish revolution. He has produced important work on the history of the Irish working class. 

None of the above disguises the fact that his recent letter to the SD website on Scotland was a real stinker.

The central political point - that Scotland was not today an oppressed nation yet we should still support independence - is an extremely weak one, made weaker by his abstention from the platform advanced by many on the Scottish left in favour of a dubious historical analogy involving Denmark.

He might however have made something of this case if he had developed it. Instead he went on a grand tour, commenting on our position and on our various correspondents.

Unforgivably for an historian, he gets his facts wrong and grossly misrepresents the views of one correspondent.

Above all we have the ill-tempered, uncomradely and fractious nature of the correspondence. This leads Raynor to the ludicrous position where he drops heavy hints of sectism and undemocratic practices aimed at the only socialist organization in Ireland which is hosting an open debate on the issue.

We would remind Raynor and our other critics that the Scottish question is still here and still open for debate. If they are right the large yes vote will translate into independent organization of the workers rather than a collapse into the arms of bourgeois nationalism. In this event we will be the first to apologize for a mistaken analysis.

In the meantime intemperate accusations do no favours to either our organisation or to the reputation of Raynor Lysaght.


John McAnulty

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