In this episode we talk to Allan Armstrong. Allan has been an activist on the Left in Scotland since the late 1960s. He was a member of the International Socialists (later the Socialist Workers’ Party) during the 1970s and was a convenor of Scottish Rank & File Teachers, leaving the SWP when it sought to dissolve the latter group. As a part of the Red Republicans, he was involved in the foundation of the Scottish Socialist Alliance, which became the Scottish Socialist Party. Within the SSP, he was part of the Republican Communist Network, which disaffiliated from the SSP in 2012. With the RCN, Allan is active in the Radical Independence Campaign, and the recently formed Republican Socialist Platform.
Along with several articles, Allan has published two books: From Davitt to Connolly, and The Ghost of James Connolly.
We’ll discuss Allan’s experiences and political trajectory in Left activism in Scotland, from socialist groups as a student in Aberdeen in the 1960s to the contemporary Republican Communist Forum; the politics of Republicanism and Internationalism from Below, and linking movements in Scotland, Ireland and across these islands; his perspective on Scottish Independence and the 2014 referendum; and the current political landscape.
Allan’s website is Internationalism from Below, available at intfrobel.com. The Republican Communist Forum (until recently known as the Republican Communist Network) has its ‘Emancipation & Liberation’ website at republicancommunist.org. In particular, listeners may be interested in these pages to explore further:
The Irish Left Archive Podcast looks at Left politics in Ireland, talking to activists, writers, historians, politicians and others involved in Left organisations and movements about their experiences of participating in Left parties and campaigns. The podcast is hosted by Ciarán Swan and Aonghus Storey.
View this episode on our website: #24: Allan Armstrong: The Scottish Left, Republican Communist Forum and Internationalism From Below.