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Xray
24-04-2010, 03:19 PM
negotiations with other groups on the left regarding the "possibility of a left slate in the next general election" were ongoing.

http://www.politico.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6524:socialist-and-capitalist-agree-on-government-failure&catid=40:politics&Itemid=877

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 04:27 PM
negotiations with other groups on the left regarding the "possibility of a left slate in the next general election" were ongoing.

http://www.politico.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6524:socialist-and-capitalist-agree-on-government-failure&catid=40:politics&Itemid=877

I didn't see that quote in the article ... where is it?

I did see the following, however:

"A new mass party of the left will be created, not by small groups uniting, but when...working people and the youth begin to move into political action," said Higgins. "It's on that basis that new mass forces will be created to challenge the dominance of the right."

Trotskyites have never united anything .... splitting is their business.

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 04:38 PM
Higgins, meanwhile, said that change would not happen through parliamentary politics and what was needed was a banding together of workers internationally. "A new mass party of the left will be created, not by small groups uniting, but when...working people and the youth begin to move into political action," said Higgins. "It's on that basis that new mass forces will be created to challenge the dominance of the right."


That seems to me to be confirmation of what I suspected after long debate with a presumed Socialist Party member, Jolly Green Giant, on Politics.ie and also after reading their publications. The Socialist Party has been talking about a new mass party of the left in terms of a Party separate from the Socialist Party. I could never see the sense in that.

Higgins seems to be definitively rejecting the idea of a united front with other left groups, something that I think is a big mistake on his and the Socialist Party's part.

That's a very broad generalisation, in terms of how you define "Trotskyites".

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 04:59 PM
That's a very broad generalisation, in terms of how you define "Trotskyites".

A life's experience ...(:

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 05:08 PM
A life's experience ...(:


In terms of the Socialist Party, what's their history of splitting? I would look at their position more as sectarian.

Baron von Biffo
24-04-2010, 05:16 PM
In terms of the Socialist Party, what's their history of splitting? I would look at their position more as sectarian.

The problem for Left parties generally is they tend to split faster than bacteria.

Is it any wonder we have a finance minister who thinks it's ok to rob blind pensions to pay bankers pensions?

Lapsedmethodist
24-04-2010, 05:22 PM
It doesn't matter a damn whether or not he forms an alliance. Todays so-called socialists are a bogus shower more at home with the isolationism of Sinn Fein than facing tough choices. Higgins is a good example of this. His performance during the Lisbon debates vis a vis European defence was sick-making. " The Irish people would be horrified to know...." stuff. Yeah, Joe... and anyone in trouble anywhere in the world would be horrified at the thought that you and your ilk had their backs !:(

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 05:28 PM
The problem for Left parties generally is they tend to split faster than bacteria.

Is it any wonder we have a finance minister who thinks it's ok to rob blind pensions to pay bankers pensions?

The left has a history of having mass parties as well as small ones. Small groups of any kind are vulnerable to accidental splittage and deliberate disruption. The far right is fragmented too. It's understandable that parties with an agenda for radical change are small. Inertia is a powerful force as we well know.

Murra
24-04-2010, 05:35 PM
The left has a history of having mass parties as well as small ones. Small groups of any kind are vulnerable to accidental splittage and deliberate disruption. The far right is fragmented too. It's understandable that parties with an agenda for radical change are small. Inertia is a powerful force as we well know.

This is why a federation of small groups would be more accommodating than a 'new party' where nobody could agree.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=1098 ;)

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 05:44 PM
This is why a federation of small groups would be more accommodating than a 'new party' where nobody could agree.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=1098 ;)

Yes, but is the only reason for this federation to get eligibility for a grant and registration as a party?

If people agree on policy, why not form a party ?

In the case of the Socialist Party, they have talked a lot about forming a broad mass Socialist Party, separately from the SP, but it looks as though they are not really interested in any kind of alliance with anyone else.

I'm in favour of clear, limited alliances on specific things - say an alliance in favour of a general election, or to protect public services.

Murra
24-04-2010, 05:52 PM
Yes, but is the only reason for this federation to get eligibility for a grant and registration as a party?

If people agree on policy, why not form a party ?

In the case of the Socialist Party, they have talked a lot about forming a broad mass Socialist Party, separately from the SP, but it looks as though they are not really interested in any kind of alliance with anyone else.

I'm in favour of clear, limited alliances on specific things - say an alliance in favour of a general election, or to protect public services.


They're not going to agree on EVERY policy though. They might agree that there has been too much of a swing towards capitalism, which has been a contributary factor to the mess we are in now, and to find some sort of state of equlibrium we need a swing to socialism/social justice. However, the devil is in the detail - and therein lies the problem.

For instance - Greens would support water tax, because of their views on ecological sustainability. Socialist Party don't. There would of course be many other areas that they would agree on, eg, blood sports.

If the electorate were to vote they would have to look at each party's manifesto. But at least those parties manifestos would be on the table for consideration in the first place, with a bit of clout from a social/democratic/justice/ecology common platform.

Murra
24-04-2010, 05:55 PM
They're not going to agree on EVERY policy though. They might agree that there has been too much of a swing towards capitalism, which has been a contributary factor to the mess we are in now, and to find some sort of state of equlibrium we need a swing to socialism/social justice. However, the devil is in the detail - and therein lies the problem.

For instance - Greens would support water tax, because of their views on ecological sustainability. Socialist Party don't. There would of course be many other areas that they would agree on, eg, blood sports.

If the electorate were to vote they would have to look at each party's manifesto. But at least those parties manifestos would be on the table for consideration in the first place, with a bit of clout from a social/democratic/justice/ecology common platform.

Also, if you look at how the 'federation' or Union of European Nations works, you can see how each country has its own constitution etc, yet can sign up to common policies. I envisage the Emerald Forum working in a similar way.

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 06:51 PM
Maybe it's time to take a look at the experience of the Popular Front which won the 1936 general election in France. It might provide some ideas. I love that it resulted in women being in Cabinet before they even had the right to vote.

"The Popular Front won the general election of 3 May 1936, with 386 seats out of 608. For the first time, the Socialists won more seats than the Radicals, and the Socialist leader Léon Blum became the first Socialist Prime Minister of France as well as the first Jew to hold that office. The first Popular Front cabinet consisted of 20 Socialists, 13 Radicals and two Socialist Republicans (there were no Communist Ministers) and, for the first time, included three women (women were not able to vote in France at that time).

Beside the three main left-wing parties, Radical-Socialists, SFIO and PCF, the Popular Front was supported by the Ligue des droits de l'homme (LDH, Human Rights League, formed during the Dreyfus Affair), the Movement Against War and Fascism, the Comité de vigilance des intellectuels antifascistes (Committee of Antifascist Intellectuals Watchdogs, created in 1934), and small parties such as Paul Ramadier's Union socialiste républicaine (USR, right-wing of the SFIO), the Party of Proletarian Unity (PUP, created in 1930 and opposed both to social democracy and to the Third International), the Parti radical-socialiste Camille Pelletan (created in May 1934 by members of the left-wing of the Radical Party), etc. The PUP, Camille Pelletan's Radical-Socialist Party, the leftist Catholic Jeune République ("Young Republic") and others joined together to form the parliamentary group of the Independent Left (Gauche indépendante) which supported Léon Blum's government."

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 06:59 PM
In terms of the Socialist Party, what's their history of splitting? I would look at their position more as sectarian.

I didn't mean the SP in particular (though they were in the Labour Party at one stage) but the Trotskyite tendency generally.

I seriously admire anyone who understands all the "Internationals". Studying quantum mechanics is easier.

List of internationals
[edit] Active

* Committee for a Workers' International
* Co-ordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International
* Fourth International
* Fourth International (ICR) International Centre/Center of Reconstruction, also called FI (La Verité) or FI (International Secretariat)
* Fourth International Posadist
* International Bolshevik Tendency
* International Committee of the Fourth International
* International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist)
* International Marxist Tendency, previously called Committee for a Marxist International
* International Socialist League
* International Socialist Tendency
* International Workers League (Fourth International)
* International Workers' Unity (Fourth International)
* Internationalist Communist Union
* International Trotskyist Fraction
* League for the Fifth International
* League for the Fourth International
* Liaison Committee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International
* Permanent Revolution Tendency
* Trotskyist Fraction - International Strategy

There are also international groupings around some Trotskyist groups which have no formal international structure:

* Alliance for Workers Liberty
* Movement (Movimiento)
* Freedom Socialist Party

[edit] Defunct or Inactive

* Bolshevik Current for the Fourth International
* Collective for an International Conference of the Principled Trotskyism
o Liaison Committee of Militants for a Revolutionary Communist International (LCMRCI), 1995-2004
o Organizing Committee of Principist Trotskyism (Fourth International)
* Committee for the Fourth International, 1940-
* Communist Organisation for a Fourth International, 2003 - 2007, currently inactive
* Coordination Committee for the Construction of the International Workers Party (KoorKom) - dissolved into International Workers' League in 2002
* Fifth International of Communists
* Fourth International (International Committee) (FIIC), 1980-1981
* Group of Opposition and Continuity of the Fourth International
* International Centre for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International (CIRQI)
* International Centre of Orthodox Trotskyism
* International League for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International (ILRFI), 1973-1995
* International Liaison Committee of Communists (ILCC)
* International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency (TMRI), 1965-1992 - rejoined the reunified Fourth International
* International Trotskyist Committee for the Political Regeneration of the Fourth International
* International Trotskyist Opposition
* International Workers' Committee
* Leninist-Trotskyist Tendency (LTT)
* International New Course
* Organizing Committee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International (CORQI), 1972-1980
* Organizing Committee of Principist Trotskyism (Fourth International)
* Revolutionary Workers Ferment (Fomento Obrero Revolucionario, FOR)
* Trotskyist International Liaison Committee, 1979-1984
* Tendência Quarta Internacionalista
* Workers International to Rebuild the Fourth International (WIRFI)
* Workers' Voice (formerly Revolutionary Trotskyist League, formerly Revolutionary Trotskyist Tendency)

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 07:02 PM
* International Trotskyist Fraction

I love this one. I might even join ... always wanted to be part of a fraction.

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 07:14 PM
They're not going to agree on EVERY policy though. They might agree that there has been too much of a swing towards capitalism, which has been a contributary factor to the mess we are in now, and to find some sort of state of equlibrium we need a swing to socialism/social justice. However, the devil is in the detail - and therein lies the problem.

For instance - Greens would support water tax, because of their views on ecological sustainability. Socialist Party don't. There would of course be many other areas that they would agree on, eg, blood sports.

If the electorate were to vote they would have to look at each party's manifesto. But at least those parties manifestos would be on the table for consideration in the first place, with a bit of clout from a social/democratic/justice/ecology common platform.

I'd prefer is something hugely radical was commonly agreed and put to the electorate as a necessary step to address the dire economic situation ...
something like withdrawing from the EU, etc. I can't see the point in electing anyone to tinker around with the same old moribund system irrespective of whether they stress social justice and the environment or not. It is an opportunity to chart a new way forward that the left should not miss ... getting a few Dail seats is pointless.

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 07:30 PM
* International Trotskyist Fraction

I love this one. I might even join ... always wanted to be part of a fraction.



The various tendencies listed here range in size from those having thousands of adherents in dozens of countries to tendencies which can barely claim a dozen members in three or four countries.


Its in better shape than the Third International, apparently -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comintern

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 09:14 PM
Its in better shape than the Third International, apparently -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comintern

??

There was only ever one comintern to my knowledge.

The trotskyites have hundreds of Fourth Internationals and reconstituting organisations...

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 09:18 PM
??

There was only ever one comintern to my knowledge.

The trotskyites have hundreds of Fourth Internationals and reconstituting organisations...

Not exactly hundreds, from your list.

The conditions for people breaking with the politics of the CP under Stalin were not that easy - or even for those loyal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comintern



7th World Congress and the Popular Front
The seventh and last congress of the Comintern was held between July 25 and August 20 1935. It was attended by representatives of 65 communist parties. The main report was delivered by Dimitrov, other reports were delivered by Palmiro Togliatti (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Palmiro_Togliatti), Wilhelm Pieck (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Pieck) and Dmitry Manuilsky (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Dmitry_Manuilsky).[25] (http://www.politicalworld.org/#cite_note-24) The congress officially endorsed the Popular Front (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Popular_Front) against fascism. This policy argued that Communist Parties should seek to form a Popular Front with all parties that opposed fascism and not limit themselves to forming a United Front (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/United_Front) with those parties based in the working class. There was no significant opposition to this policy within any of the national sections of the Comintern; in France and Spain in particular, it would have momentous consequences with Léon Blum (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_Blum)'s 1936 election, which led to the Popular Front government (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Popular_Front_(France)).
Stalin's purges of the 1930s (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Great_Purge) affected Comintern activists living in both the USSR and overseas. At Stalin's direction, the Comintern was thoroughly infused with Soviet secret police and foreign intelligence operatives and informers working under Comintern guise. One of its leaders, Mikhail Trilisser (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Mikhail_Trilisser), using the pseudonym 'Mikhail Aleksandrovich Moskvin', was in fact chief of the foreign department of the Soviet OGPU (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/OGPU) (later, the NKVD (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/NKVD)). At Stalin's orders, 133 out of 492 Comintern staff members became victims of the Great Purge (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Great_Purge). Several hundred German Communists and antifascists who had either fled from Nazi Germany or were convinced to relocate in the Soviet Union were liquidated, and more than a thousand were handed over to Germany.[26] (http://www.politicalworld.org/#cite_note-25) Fritz Platten (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Fritz_Platten) died in a labor camp; the leaders of the Indian (Virendranath Chattopadhyaya (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Virendranath_Chattopadhyaya) or Chatto), Korean, Mexican, Iranian and Turkish Communist parties were executed. Out of 11 Mongolian Communist Party leaders, only Khorloogiin Choibalsan (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Khorloogiin_Choibalsan) survived. A great number of German Communists were handed over to Adolf Hitler (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler). Leopold Trepper (http://www.politicalworld.org/wiki/Leopold_Trepper) recalled these days: "In house, where the party activists of all the countries were living, no-one slept until 3 o'clock in the morning.... Exactly 3 o'clock the car lights began to be seen.... we stayed near the window and waited [to find out], where the car stopped."[27] (http://www.politicalworld.org/#cite_note-26)

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 09:32 PM
Not exactly hundreds, from your list.

The conditions for people breaking with the politics of the CP under Stalin were not that easy - or even for those loyal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comintern

I think that if a party wanted to withdraw there was no reason why they could not. It was hardly like the Soviet Union was going to invade India or wherever to round up disloyal communists.

As for list of accusations you have pasted I would have to investigate them all in order to respond and I'm not that interested ...

.

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 09:50 PM
I think that if a party wanted to withdraw there was no reason why they could not. It was hardly like the Soviet Union was going to invade India or wherever to round up disloyal communists.

As for list of accusations you have pasted I would have to investigate them all in order to respond and I'm not that interested ...

.

Well, I followed a link from your Wikipedia source. It's not something I know about and I couldn't say whether they whether they were disloyal to communism. I didn't think there was any question of these people wanting to withdraw raised in that paragraph. The Intternational seems to have been wound up.

So, are you in favour of having an International ? Or separate parties for each country ?

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 10:08 PM
The only point I was making was that Trotskyism is associated with splits ..... I posted all the different 4th Internationals in this regard. Maybe not hundreds but dozens anyway ..

You raised the 3rd International. It was indeed dissolved (and this I think is a bone of contention with Trotskyists) but it was always only the one international .... there were never dozens of competing ones. You didn't have parties splitting all over the place and forming all sorts of competing internationals. 165 parties were at the last comintern congress.

You ask if I in favour of an International today .... but I am not sure I am even in favour of a Bolshevik style vanguard party.

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 10:14 PM
The only point I was making was that Trotskyism is associated with splits ..... I posted all the different 4th Internationals in this regard. Maybe not hundreds but dozens anyway ..

You raised the 3rd International. It was indeed dissolved (and this I think is a bone of contention with Trotskyists) but it was always only the one international .... there were never dozens of competing ones. You didn't have parties splitting all over the place and forming all sorts of competing internationals. 165 parties were at the last comintern congress.

You ask if I in favour of an International today .... but I am not sure I am even in favour of a Bolshevik style vanguard party.

Maybe they are not the same questions.

Going back to Joe Higgins and the Socialist Party, it seems to me that the problem they have is not splitting (so far as I'm aware) but reluctance in practice to work with anyone else. Joe Higgins is respected by the public, and apart from the one Anglo Irish picket could be taking more of a role. Is the European Parliament really worth bothering with at a time like this ? I'm not sure that anyone pays it any attention.

Sam Lord
24-04-2010, 10:30 PM
Is the European Parliament really worth bothering with at a time like this ? I'm not sure that anyone pays it any attention.

It is an absurdity that the leader of a socialist party in Ireland would spend any time in a European parliament. Could you see James Connolly heading off to the House of Commons?

It is probably a money earner for the Party but he is really wasting his time over there.

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 10:52 PM
It is an absurdity that the leader of a socialist party in Ireland would spend any time in a European parliament. Could you see James Connolly heading off to the House of Commons?

It is probably a money earner for the Party but he is really wasting his time over there.

Yes, I think he should be here. And if you look at Mary Lou's performance, if he spent time here, he'd get away with it.

Lapsedmethodist
24-04-2010, 11:37 PM
Yes, I think he should be here. And if you look at Mary Lou's performance, if he spent time here, he'd get away with it.

Wasting HIS time ? He was elected to represent a constituency, in case you've forgotten. Or is there something about elections that i haven't "got "?

C. Flower
24-04-2010, 11:41 PM
Wasting HIS time ? He was elected to represent a constituency, in case you've forgotten. Or is there something about elections that i haven't "got "?

Just remind me what he's been able to achieve in the EP and I'll eat my words. :)

Lapsedmethodist
24-04-2010, 11:49 PM
Just remind me what he's been able to achieve in the EP and I'll eat my words. :)

Inability to achieve is down to him and should be punished at the polls. "I can't achieve anything so I'll quit " would make a great election pamphlet, don't you think ?:confused:

C. Flower
25-04-2010, 12:13 AM
Inability to achieve is down to him and should be punished at the polls. "I can't achieve anything so I'll quit " would make a great election pamphlet, don't you think ?:confused:

That would entirely depend on the alternative use he made of the time.

Lapsedmethodist
25-04-2010, 12:46 AM
That would entirely depend on the alternative use he made of the time.

I thought that that was how we got into the mess we're in. TD's making alternative use of their time ?

Xray
25-04-2010, 12:31 PM
As someone that is not that ideologically driven I think that parties that are end up getting nowhere most of the time. Center ground parties tend to be more result focused so don't fall out over policy as easy. They do want it takes to get elected etc.

I am making a huge simplification, but it is a choice between power and being pure. If the Left want power they gotta get real. You can be in some micro group where everyone agrees or you can get enough people together to change real things. Its a balance.

Murra
26-04-2010, 01:03 AM
As someone that is not that ideologically driven I think that parties that are end up getting nowhere most of the time. Center ground parties tend to be more result focused so don't fall out over policy as easy. They do want it takes to get elected etc.

I am making a huge simplification, but it is a choice between power and being pure. If the Left want power they gotta get real. You can be in some micro group where everyone agrees or you can get enough people together to change real things. Its a balance.

Thats what happened the Green Party - now their voters feel completely let down by them.

C. Flower
26-04-2010, 01:06 AM
As someone that is not that ideologically driven I think that parties that are end up getting nowhere most of the time. Center ground parties tend to be more result focused so don't fall out over policy as easy. They do want it takes to get elected etc.

I am making a huge simplification, but it is a choice between power and being pure. If the Left want power they gotta get real. You can be in some micro group where everyone agrees or you can get enough people together to change real things. Its a balance.

Sam Lord would say that the micro groups fall out more than anyone.

It takes a strong ideology and a class base to hold a party together long term.

Xray
26-04-2010, 11:09 AM
Thats what happened the Green Party - now their voters feel completely let down by them.

To an extent that is true, but I think the greens went too far. I am not a green, but if I were I would not think the positions at cabinet were worth the compromise. A large party of the left would be calling the shots more than one or two greens. I am not talking about one or two TDs, I am talking about trying to have the largest party in a government rather than a few medium to small ones.

BrendanGalway
26-04-2010, 02:47 PM
there has never been a bad time for a Broad left alliance and I would argue that we need one now more than ever. Surely, right now of all times, it is the ideal opportunity for the Left to make inroads once more into the Political frame. Given the complete Balls unrestrained Capitalism and Globalisation has made of the this Country and the World in general, it is an open goal for a party, Any party to portray themselves as a viable alternative to the system that Safeguards the top-tier of rich and powerful at the expense of the Ordinary people. Its shooting a fish in a barrell. So how come we havent seen it yet?

This is, in my mind, because Left parties repel each other like Magnetic fields. There is something admirable yet Dogmatic about their Positions and Views that on one hand means they are unlikely to be turned or Corrupted yet leaves no room for Negotiation or give. They remind me almost of Religious organisations, telling the flock to follow "The One True Way" and to reject the Heresies of the others. The Right have been laughing at this for Eons. Right/Center Right parties have proven far more malleable in their desire to achieve power and implement their systems of Rule and form Coalitions far easier than Left organisations.

The idea of another International is a good one. Something needs to get all Left parties from Ireland & Europe together and soon. I suggest the theme of the International should be "If we cant make an Impression in the middle of this, perhaps its time to wind up the Parties and go home". The continual Underperformance of the Left, especially at a time when people are openly questioning Capitalism as a system, should be the most pressing issue for discussion.

Sam Lord
26-04-2010, 02:51 PM
Sam Lord would say that the micro groups fall out more than anyone.



I can't recall saying that. The only reference in this regard I can recall making was to Trotskyites and their penchant for splits.

Sam Lord
26-04-2010, 02:56 PM
there has never been a bad time for a Broad left alliance and I would argue that we need one now more than ever.



I am very much in favour of this if it is challenging the system in some way and undermining the hegemony of the bourgeoisie.

If it managing things for them with a greater emphasis on social justice then it is a waste of time. Social Democracy was the worst thing to ever befall the working class movement.

C. Flower
26-04-2010, 03:45 PM
there has never been a bad time for a Broad left alliance and I would argue that we need one now more than ever. Surely, right now of all times, it is the ideal opportunity for the Left to make inroads once more into the Political frame. Given the complete Balls unrestrained Capitalism and Globalisation has made of the this Country and the World in general, it is an open goal for a party, Any party to portray themselves as a viable alternative to the system that Safeguards the top-tier of rich and powerful at the expense of the Ordinary people. Its shooting a fish in a barrell. So how come we havent seen it yet?

This is, in my mind, because Left parties repel each other like Magnetic fields. There is something admirable yet Dogmatic about their Positions and Views that on one hand means they are unlikely to be turned or Corrupted yet leaves no room for Negotiation or give. They remind me almost of Religious organisations, telling the flock to follow "The One True Way" and to reject the Heresies of the others. The Right have been laughing at this for Eons. Right/Center Right parties have proven far more malleable in their desire to achieve power and implement their systems of Rule and form Coalitions far easier than Left organisations.

The idea of another International is a good one. Something needs to get all Left parties from Ireland & Europe together and soon. I suggest the theme of the International should be "If we cant make an Impression in the middle of this, perhaps its time to wind up the Parties and go home". The continual Underperformance of the Left, especially at a time when people are openly questioning Capitalism as a system, should be the most pressing issue for discussion.

Yes. Time to get the act together. People can agree to work together on specific things, without dissolving their own parties.

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 12:06 AM
Yes. Time to get the act together. People can agree to work together on specific things, without dissolving their own parties.

Might be an idea for myself or another brave soul to download the Manifestos of all Left Political Parties (Socialist, Workers Party, PBP, Sinn Fein, Communists, RSF etc) and try to detect any meaningful differences between them. I'll bet right now they all say the exact same thing on what they want and how to achieve it. All thats stopping them is some crap notion of recent history and why they should treat all other Parties and organisations as if they were PD fronts.

Its utterly frustrating and heartbreaking to see it come to this time and time again. We berate large sections of our electorate for voting based on what side their Family were on during the Civil War. Well the exact same Muck is played out in Socialist circles also. Really, does it matter who Leon Trotsky is right now?

The Nation needs someone to fight for the Ordinary Citizen. Can we leave early 20th Century history at the door and discuss Irelands future?


ps. As I write that, I got the notion to propose exactly this idea to the heads of all Left parties in this Land. We could ask them about how they would feel about a Left Alliance. Ask them straight up for their objections. Is there someone they wouldnt work with and why?

Ask them why if they think its a good idea, why they havent done it yet.

Id be fairly sure of a Response from Higgins. I happen to know the head of the WP from a previous life, he'll answer my email. As for the rest, we will see...

Murra
27-04-2010, 01:01 AM
Might be an idea for myself or another brave soul to download the Manifestos of all Left Political Parties (Socialist, Workers Party, PBP, Sinn Fein, Communists, RSF etc) and try to detect any meaningful differences between them. I'll bet right now they all say the exact same thing on what they want and how to achieve it. All thats stopping them is some crap notion of recent history and why they should treat all other Parties and organisations as if they were PD fronts.

Its utterly frustrating and heartbreaking to see it come to this time and time again. We berate large sections of our electorate for voting based on what side their Family were on during the Civil War. Well the exact same Muck is played out in Socialist circles also. Really, does it matter who Leon Trotsky is right now?

The Nation needs someone to fight for the Ordinary Citizen. Can we leave early 20th Century history at the door and discuss Irelands future?


ps. As I write that, I got the notion to propose exactly this idea to the heads of all Left parties in this Land. We could ask them about how they would feel about a Left Alliance. Ask them straight up for their objections. Is there someone they wouldnt work with and why?

Ask them why if they think its a good idea, why they havent done it yet.

Id be fairly sure of a Response from Higgins. I happen to know the head of the WP from a previous life, he'll answer my email. As for the rest, we will see...

You'd be more than welcome to bring your findings along to the Emerald Forum meeting on June 26th at the Teachers Club, 12pm. Same goes for anyone interested in this type of thing.

Sam Lord
27-04-2010, 04:07 AM
Might be an idea for myself or another brave soul to download the Manifestos of all Left Political Parties (Socialist, Workers Party, PBP, Sinn Fein, Communists, RSF etc) and try to detect any meaningful differences between them. I'll bet right now they all say the exact same thing on what they want and how to achieve it. All thats stopping them is some crap notion of recent history and why they should treat all other Parties and organisations as if they were PD fronts.



I think it is probably a worthwhile effort but if you ever manage to get them all in a room two pieces of advice immediately come to mind.

[1] Don't mention the North - it will be like exploding a hand grenade in the room and all that will be left is wreckage for you to clean up.

[2] Put the North top of the agenda or you will be accused of being a partitionist.

:)

Murra
27-04-2010, 01:28 PM
I think it is probably a worthwhile effort but if you ever manage to get them all in a room two pieces of advice immediately come to mind.

[1] Don't mention the North - it will be like exploding a hand grenade in the room and all that will be left is wreckage for you to clean up.

[2] Put the North top of the agenda or you will be accused of being a partitionist.

:)

There's a way around that - don't mention 'The North' - just refer to 'All Ireland' ;)

antiestablishmentarian
27-04-2010, 01:46 PM
Hi there, I'd like to try and clarify a few things about the SP's position on this. Firstly, the SP recognise the need to co-operate on the left, and with that in mind they put forward a proposal to run a joint slate in the last election, something which was unfortunately rejected by others on the left. Secondly, as regards a new mass party of the working class, in this respect they mean parties similar to the Old Labour Party in the UK and similar in some respects to the new left formations which are emerging in Germany, Greece France and other parts of europe, which the International sections of the SP's International are active within. The idea is a party that would unite all currents on the left, with a mass working class base and links to the Trade Unions, which would fight for workers and allow a platform for debate between the different left groups, where things could be fraternal. This is the way the SP envisages recruiting people to socialist ideas rather than people joining small parties which, to be honest, seem like sects to many people even when they're not.

C. Flower
27-04-2010, 01:51 PM
Hi there, I'd like to try and clarify a few things about the SP's position on this. Firstly, the SP recognise the need to co-operate on the left, and with that in mind they put forward a proposal to run a joint slate in the last election, something which was unfortunately rejected by others on the left. Secondly, as regards a new mass party of the working class, in this respect they mean parties similar to the Old Labour Party in the UK and similar in some respects to the new left formations which are emerging in Germany, Greece France and other parts of europe, which the International sections of the SP's International are active within. The idea is a party that would unite all currents on the left, with a mass working class base and links to the Trade Unions, which would fight for workers and allow a platform for debate between the different left groups, where things could be fraternal. This is the way the SP envisages recruiting people to socialist ideas rather than people joining small parties which, to be honest, seem like sects to many people even when they're not.

Hi and welcome :) It will help the debate here to have someone who knows SP policy.

There seems to be a lot of support for a left arrangement for the General Election, whether a party or a grouping, and there are "left greens" who are also working at forming an electoral alliance.

Is the SP in favour of joining some kind of United Front, for the next General Election ? And how is the SP going about trying to establish a Trade Union based left party ? Have there been any meetings, or a policy document on that yet ?

antiestablishmentarian
27-04-2010, 02:08 PM
Hi and welcome :) It will help the debate here to have someone who knows SP policy.

There seems to be a lot of support for a left arrangement for the General Election, whether a party or a grouping, and there are "left greens" who are also working at forming an electoral alliance.

Is the SP in favour of joining some kind of United Front, for the next General Election ? And how is the SP going about trying to establish a Trade Union based left party ? Have there been any meetings, or a policy document on that yet ?

Cheers, the main idea at the moment is still that of a left slate, ie running on a joint platform with a minimal program of opposition to cuts, privatisation and other community issues. That would be similar to TUSC in the UK in outline http://www.tusc.org.uk/.
The perspective of the SP concerning a new mass workers party of the kind I described above is that there are encouraging signs of left activists emerging in the unions at the moment but that their number is not sufficient yet to justify making the call for the establishment of a new workers party: they see the possibility of such a project remaining stillborn. Joining together the myriad of different left groups would be useless as they have, at present, outside of localised areas like the SP in parts of Dublin and Cork, Richard Boyd Barrett and some other PBP people in Dublin and Seamus Healy in Clonmel, no mass base which could be galvanised into activity. However the SP sees that changing as the economy continues to deteriorate and the Unions keep shying away from struggle. It could be summarised so that the question for the SP over when to make the call for such a new party is one of timing: go too soon and it mightn't take off, wait too long and the opportunity will be gone.

C. Flower
27-04-2010, 02:12 PM
Cheers, the main idea at the moment is still that of a left slate, ie running on a joint platform with a minimal program of opposition to cuts, privatisation and other community issues. That would be similar to TUSC in the UK in outline http://www.tusc.org.uk/.
The perspective of the SP concerning a new mass workers party of the kind I described above is that there are encouraging signs of left activists emerging in the unions at the moment but that their number is not sufficient yet to justify making the call for the establishment of a new workers party: they see the possibility of such a project remaining stillborn. Joining together the myriad of different left groups would be useless as they have, at present, outside of localised areas like the SP in parts of Dublin and Cork, Richard Boyd Barrett and some other PBP people in Dublin and Seamus Healy in Clonmel, no mass base which could be galvanised into activity. However the SP sees that changing as the economy continues to deteriorate and the Unions keep shying away from struggle. It could be summarised so that the question for the SP over when to make the call for such a new party is one of timing: go too soon and it mightn't take off, wait too long and the opportunity will be gone.


So, what about the next G E, which could come at any time ?

antiestablishmentarian
27-04-2010, 02:15 PM
So, what about the next G E, which could come at any time ?

The left should co-operate together, preferably in a joint slate: call for votes for genuine left candidates and endorse them on their election literature where they run in the same constituency (as was done in the local elections last year), however a deeper collaboration is unlikely at this point i'm afraid.

C. Flower
27-04-2010, 02:23 PM
The left should co-operate together, preferably in a joint slate: call for votes for genuine left candidates and endorse them on their election literature where they run in the same constituency (as was done in the local elections last year), however a deeper collaboration is unlikely at this point i'm afraid.

I know a point of disagreement Í've hand in the past with SP members has been over whether or not the Labour Party should be called on to join such an arrangement.

I'm in favour of putting Labour under public pressure to align with the Left with a view to a Left Government.

I don't have any illusions in Labour (Mae Sexton, how are ye) but I think for a lot of working class and middle class people they are still untested and the obvious choice, if they would break from FG. That needs to be clarified in practice.

Murra
27-04-2010, 04:11 PM
The left should co-operate together, preferably in a joint slate: call for votes for genuine left candidates and endorse them on their election literature where they run in the same constituency (as was done in the local elections last year), however a deeper collaboration is unlikely at this point i'm afraid.

As a left-green, I would concur with the above - a deeper collaboration may not be possible (for instance, I would support water charges). However, there are many areas, particularly relating to the economy, energy and jobs, where I am sure we could come together in with a united front. 300 members under the umbrella of a united Federation would allow us to register and give us all political standing.

Murra
27-04-2010, 04:23 PM
Just to add, a Federation would have no centralised leadership - just selected spokespeople to represent the expressions of the group for each area portfolio - the selected spokesperson position would be selected annually, or not, based on performance.

eejoynt
30-04-2010, 08:34 PM
As a left-green, I would concur with the above - a deeper collaboration may not be possible (for instance, I would support water charges). However, there are many areas, particularly relating to the economy, energy and jobs, where I am sure we could come together in with a united front. 300 members under the umbrella of a united Federation would allow us to register and give us all political standing.

Would this be the political equivalent of a swingers' club- sound advice on this issue could be got from cde. tommy sherdian of tusc in scotland
when is he due for trial by the way?

Murra
30-04-2010, 08:54 PM
I'd prefer is something hugely radical was commonly agreed and put to the electorate as a necessary step to address the dire economic situation ...
something like withdrawing from the EU, etc. I can't see the point in electing anyone to tinker around with the same old moribund system irrespective of whether they stress social justice and the environment or not. It is an opportunity to chart a new way forward that the left should not miss ... getting a few Dail seats is pointless.

Bad as things are, I can't see the Irish electorate going for a withdrawal from the EU, can you?

Baron von Biffo
30-04-2010, 08:56 PM
Bad as things are, I can't see the Irish electorate going for a withdrawal from the EU, can you?

Would we be allowed to leave even if we wanted to?

Sam Lord
30-04-2010, 09:28 PM
Bad as things are, I can't see the Irish electorate going for a withdrawal from the EU, can you?

Well I wouldn't be part of any Federation that had a policy of remaining in.

antiestablishmentarian
06-05-2010, 03:34 PM
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90090#comment240571

An article with more information including the specific proposals put forward by the SP in relation to a left slate.

BrendanGalway
09-05-2010, 03:11 PM
Hi guys, I suggested earlier on writing to each party to get their thoughts on a Left Alliance. I intend to ask :

- Labour Party
- Socialist Party
- Sinn Fein
- Socialist Workers Party
- People Before Profit Alliance
- Workers Party

Can anyone else suggest who should be on this list?

Kid Ryder
09-05-2010, 03:17 PM
Sam Lord would say that the micro groups fall out more than anyone.

It takes a strong ideology and a class base to hold a party together long term.

+1 for that, CF.

Kid Ryder
09-05-2010, 03:18 PM
I can't recall saying that. The only reference in this regard I can recall making was to Trotskyites and their penchant for splits.

+1 for that too.

Kid Ryder
09-05-2010, 03:20 PM
I am very much in favour of this if it is challenging the system in some way and undermining the hegemony of the bourgeoisie.

If it managing things for them with a greater emphasis on social justice then it is a waste of time. Social Democracy was the worst thing to ever befall the working class movement.

+10!

BrendanGalway
09-05-2010, 09:45 PM
Hi guys, I suggested earlier on writing to each party to get their thoughts on a Left Alliance. I intend to ask :

- Labour Party
- Socialist Party
- Sinn Fein
- Socialist Workers Party
- People Before Profit Alliance
- Workers Party



Thats done. Ive emailed Party Heads where I could, hopefully they will take the time to respond.

I'll post whatever replies I receive.

Xray
09-05-2010, 10:05 PM
I would also add to the good ideas above that working together does not mean becoming one party. Democratic left plus the Labour party would be more bums on seats in the Dail now.

BrendanGalway
09-05-2010, 10:08 PM
I would also add to the good ideas above that working together does not mean becoming one party. Democratic left plus the Labour party would be more bums on seats in the Dail now.

I was clear to state that in my Letter, I asked about the Possibility of a United Front or coalition of parties as Opposed to merging them.

C. Flower
09-05-2010, 10:13 PM
Thats done. Ive emailed Party Heads where I could, hopefully they will take the time to respond.

I'll post whatever replies I receive.

It'll be very interesting to see the results.

Xray
09-05-2010, 10:23 PM
I was clear to state that in my Letter, I asked about the Possibility of a United Front or coalition of parties as Opposed to merging them.

Fair play, from small seeds things somethings happen.

Binn Beal
10-05-2010, 11:20 AM
In a country with no opposition, the field is wide open for whoever is first out of the pack with an alternative position that appeals to the majority of the people.
The Socialist Party (or Joe Higgins in particular) seems to have taken that first step into public view. (I always tune in anyway when he's on one of those eternal talk shows). He would be crazy to bog himself down in united fronts/unity alliances of those who are going nowhere and have nothing to offer.
The party or organisation that offers the country a credible way forward will expand and recruit from the millions who are at present frustrated and lost.

C. Flower
10-05-2010, 11:30 AM
In a country with no opposition, the field is wide open for whoever is first out of the pack with an alternative position that appeals to the majority of the people.
The Socialist Party (or Joe Higgins in particular) seems to have taken that first step into public view. (I always tune in anyway when he's on one of those eternal talk shows). He would be crazy to bog himself down in united fronts/unity alliances of those who are going nowhere and have nothing to offer.
The party or organisation that offers the country a credible way forward will expand and recruit from the millions who are at present frustrated and lost.

I think that's very likely the way he, and the Socialist Party, see it too. So why don't they make it clear that they don't want to work with other parties on the left ?

BrendanGalway
11-05-2010, 03:10 PM
First out of the Blocks, we have the Workers Party. does anyone know what the DCTU convention was about...?
(I also asked if there was anyone they wouldnt work with and why. Can we assume the answer, by omission is No one?)


Brendan,

The Workers' Party has, over many years, expressed the desire and the need for greater Left cooperation and common actions in order to defend the interests of the working class and in order to bring an end to the regime of Capitalism which is destroying the lives of countless millions throughout the world.

Even last weekend (Saturday 8th May) the Workers' Party attended a major convention, under the aegis of the DCTU, called for this very purpose.

We look forward to this bearing fruit in the near future.

Slán

Padraig Mannion
Research Officer.

C. Flower
11-05-2010, 03:13 PM
First out of the Blocks, we have the Workers Party. does anyone know what the DCTU convention was about...?
(I also asked if there was anyone they wouldnt work with and why. Can we assume the answer, by omission is No one?)


Brendan,

The Workers' Party has, over many years, expressed the desire and the need for greater Left cooperation and common actions in order to defend the interests of the working class and in order to bring an end to the regime of Capitalism which is destroying the lives of countless millions throughout the world.

Even last weekend (Saturday 8th May) the Workers' Party attended a major convention, under the aegis of the DCTU, called for this very purpose.

We look forward to this bearing fruit in the near future.

Slán

Padraig Mannion
Research Officer.

Dublin Council of Trade Unions - I think I mentioned this in a thread way back, before we had the calendar working -

http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/dublin-council-of-trade-unions-national-forum-there-is-an-alternative/

It would be good to get a report on who was there and what was agreed.

BrendanGalway
11-05-2010, 03:18 PM
I'll see what Padraig can provide.

BrendanGalway
11-05-2010, 09:53 PM
He replies :

"Brendan,

At this stage there is no formal report of the meeting. if such a report is prepared it will clearly be prepared by DCTU who convened the meeting.

There were 27 different organisations present, and I think it was a useful meeting. Whether or not the process will be ultimately successful is too early to say.

Slán "

Maybe I'll take it up with the DCTU then. 27 organisations is some turnout. I would suggest an event where everyone showed up, stated their positions and Retired until the next Meeting. The reply does seem to convey that we have a bit to go yet.

antiestablishmentarian
12-05-2010, 01:27 PM
I think that's very likely the way he, and the Socialist Party, see it too. So why don't they make it clear that they don't want to work with other parties on the left ?

The forces of the left are too small in Ireland for the SP not to work with others of good will, even if they have some serious differences in position. However I don't think the SP see's slates of this sort as being anything more than a temporary measure on the way to building a new mass workers party.

C. Flower
12-05-2010, 01:32 PM
The forces of the left are too small in Ireland for the SP not to work with others of good will, even if they have some serious differences in position. However I don't think the SP see's slates of this sort as being anything more than a temporary measure on the way to building a new mass workers party.


What was the SP's stance on the march last night, for example ?

BrendanGalway
12-05-2010, 01:32 PM
The forces of the left are too small in Ireland for the SP not to work with others of good will, even if they have some serious differences in position.

Hi antiestablishmentarian, would you happen to know who the Socialist Party would have a difference of opinion with? What are these differences, are they surmountable?

BrendanGalway
16-05-2010, 10:35 PM
http://timelliott.us/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/tumbleweed.jpg

Says it all Im afraid. Only one reply in 6. Maybe I'll try sending them to different addresses.

C. Flower
17-05-2010, 02:17 AM
They're small groups, but it does say something.

BrendanGalway
17-05-2010, 12:35 PM
Quick update : Ive emailed the DCTU to see what the status is of their Report (if any) on the "There is an Alternative" conference. Ive also asked how well they thought it went, any chance of progress.

I also forwarded my Left Unity emails onto the Official Address of the Parties concerned where I did not do it previously. I had in some cases emailed a Party representative in the hope of avoiding the Stock Political answer I could write myself. The only thing the other Official addresses have provided me with so far is Spam "Join us" messages.

I'll update if theres any responses.

Binn Beal
17-05-2010, 03:07 PM
I admire your determination but I suspect it was a dead duck. If something positive emerged, they would be shouting about it.

BrendanGalway
20-05-2010, 10:29 PM
A word back from the Office of Joe Higgins.

Dear Brendan,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying, we've been quite busy. Joe's away in Strasbourg at the moment so I hope I can answer some of your questions. I had considered posting on the thread on politicalworld.org but I thought I'd leave it to antiestablishmentarian to fly the flag there!

Just a minor, fussy clarifcation before I respond to your email: While Joe Higgins is the most high profile member of the Socialist Party, he is not the leader of the Party. The Socialist Party operates on the basis of collective leadership, with the National Committee elected annually by National Conference as the leading body of the organisation.

We are in favour of left alliances and left unity and regularly work in broad campaigns with other organisations on the left. To that end, we are currently involved in negotiations with other left organisations about putting forward a joint electoral slate for the next elections. Prior to the Local & European elections in 2009 and throughout last year, we also put forward similar proposals for a left slate for the elections, which were unfortunately rejected by the other groups involved. You can read the Socialist Party's statment on those discussions here: Socialist Party reply to SWP on issues of left co-operation and new workers party (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/94667)

The statement above generally summarises our attitude towards left unity as well as raising some of the complications and problems that we believe exist in forming any sort of left alliance at this point and can probably sum them up better than I can. It also goes into what out attitude is towards groups like Sinn Féin and the Labour Party. If you think there are points which are not addressed, feel free to ask any questions and I'll try my best to respond.

As I mentioned above, there are current discussions which are ongoing about forming an electoral slate for the General Elections but there are no significant updates from them just yet.

The Right to Work protests have been discussed a fair bit on the forums so I think it's important to make some points about our attitude towards that campaign. I'm sure that some people might see as an opportunity to put left unity into practice. Some of the people from politicalworld.org might have got a copy of our leaflet on the demonstration which does make criticisms of how the campaign is run.

The initiatve for a Right to Work campaign is an important one and could potentially offer the left the opportunity to engage in some united work. But as the statement above explains, we believe that a genuine united campaign can only work on the basis of having honest, genuine discussion and debate about the tactics, the slogans and the programme of a campaign. So far, the Right to Work campaign has not offered that. The SWP and People Before Profit have effectively presented a fait accompli of what the programme of the campaign is and have asked that other groups sign their name to the campaign without actually engaging in a debate with these groups. We believe that these sort of tactics not only weaken the basis of a broad campaign but actually sow distrust and divide groups on the left. On top of this approach to building a campaign, the organisers were extremely dishonest in asking Joe Higgins to speak at a press conference advertising the demonstration, which received significant press coverage and then contacting us after agreeing that Joe could speak at the demonstration to inform us that they were withdrawing the invitation as the Socialist Party had done nothing to promote the event.

These types of dishonest tactics do not help in building a united front of the left and will only serve to hinder the process. Nonetheless, we will continue to discussion and debate about how left unity can be acheived with other groups, but as I pointed out above, this will only be done with an honest approach to genuine discussions.

Regards,
Stephen Rigney
Parliamentary Assistant
-------------------------------------
Office of Joe Higgins MEP
Socialist Party
150 Pearse Street
Dublin 2


*******

Clearly a lot of mistrust between the SP and the SWP. Very disappointing to see the kind of tactics being employed. So far, it seems the Image of the Swp put forward to some on this site seems to hold water. Its as if they trying to fight this Battle on their own and its up to everyone else to get in line.

Depressing stuff. An open goal beckons. Never before have so many questioned the system they Live under and yet some groups still cannot bring themselves to get it together. Ask those of us who attended the Dail Demos, even reading comments on this site, you can get a sense that a Movement or Coalition promising an end to the Corruption and Elitism that has characterised our Political setup would attract a lot of support. I have written to contacts in the SWP and Pbp(twice), lets hope someone takes the time to give us their side of this story.

Nice to know we are being Visited by people with experience in these matters and I hope Stephen and antiestablishmentarian post here more often!

ps. I have also written to Eirigi to see what their posistion on this subject is.

C. Flower
20-05-2010, 10:45 PM
Thanks BrendanGalway. I tried to get leaflets from the different groups but there was very little on offer other than the SWP material, which I have. Does anyone have the SP leaflet ? It might form the basis of discussion of the campaign.

I'm glad that there is finally some mobilisation, but I'm concerned that the SWP is up for a few demonstrations only and has not real vision for transforming the economy and society.

Murra
20-05-2010, 11:44 PM
See - a Federation could work here, with each party maintaining their separate identity but for the purposes of election, coming together on common ground under an umbrella. Of course, it needs dialogue with all concerned.

Anyone wishing to discuss this further can contact [email protected]

People Korps
20-05-2010, 11:47 PM
Isn't Joe Higgins a unionist? we have had that discussion I believe ? But did we get to the end does it need its own thread?

Sam Lord
21-05-2010, 12:25 AM
Brendan, full marks for your tenacity. The country would be in much better shape if more people cared as much.

BOZG
21-05-2010, 10:46 AM
Isn't Joe Higgins a unionist? we have had that discussion I believe ? But did we get to the end does it need its own thread?

There's a substantial difference between a voluntary union, based on mutual solidarity and recognising the significant cultural, economic and language ties of a group of nations and imperialist domination of a group of nations.

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 10:53 AM
There's a substantial difference between a voluntary union, based on mutual solidarity and recognising the significant cultural, economic and language ties of a group of nations and imperialist domination of a group of nations.

Some of us may have been involved in a similar discussion elsewhere. :) In the context of Internationalism and the way things move forward, is it not possible that the Irish working class if in a position of political power, might depending on the way things turn out have a formal alliance with, say, the Icelanders or the Spanish, long before its possible with the English, Scots or Welsh ?

I think its just the assumption that there is some reason to revert to that particular old entity which is so redolent with the scent of British Imperialism and within which its unequal attitudes and relationships are so entrenched that causes unease.

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 11:02 AM
Both the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party take their orders from outside of Ireland. Both are opportunist, "self-seeking" and capable of all sorts of lies. Steer clear.

The Irish Socialist Network, the Republican Network for Unity and Eirigi (possibly, Im beinging to warm to them but still not sure yet) even though they are smaller have a lot more to offer and are geniunely interested in the working class as whole and not just building up their "groups".

BOZG
21-05-2010, 11:08 AM
Some of us may have been involved in a similar discussion elsewhere. :) In the context of Internationalism and the way things move forward, is it not possible that the Irish working class if in a position of political power, might depending on the way things turn out have a formal alliance with, say, the Icelanders or the Spanish, long before its possible with the English, Scots or Welsh ?

I think its just the assumption that there is some reason to revert to that particular old entity which is so redolent with the scent of British Imperialism and within which its unequal attitudes and relationships are so entrenched that causes unease.

I think it's most likely that any sort of revolutionary wave in England, Scotland and Wales would give an impetus to Ireland or vice versa. While I can see where people are coming from, the reality is that Ireland is wed to the other countries of the British Isles in numerous ways - geographical, trade, culture, language, trade unions, workers' struggles, emigration etc. Those relationships will not disintegrate overnight because the traditional union is broken and most likely, those connections would be strengthened in a time of struggle.

I could see the same type of unions being created across Europe between the Scandanavian countries, Germany/Austria, Benelux countries etc within the confines of a wider union of Europe.

That isn't to say that Ireland couldn't theoretically end up in a union with Iceland and Spain but I just don't think it's the most lilely outcome.

People Korps
21-05-2010, 11:10 AM
There's a substantial difference between a voluntary union, based on mutual solidarity and recognising the significant cultural, economic and language ties of a group of nations and imperialist domination of a group of nations.

But unionist is unionist , The SP want a union of Scotland, Wales, Britain and Ireland . A bit of a set back for Ireland that would be

BOZG
21-05-2010, 11:11 AM
Both the Socialist Party..... take their orders from outside of Ireland.

As members of an International, we represent the ideas of our International within the context of Ireland but that's done on the basis of discussion throughout the International. National sections are free to debate the position of the International and vice versa.

Feel free to provide proof of your claims otherwise.

BOZG
21-05-2010, 11:12 AM
But unionist is unionist , The SP want a union of Scotland, Wales, Britain and Ireland . A bit of a set back for Ireland that would be

How would that be a set back?

Every socialist is in favour of unions of nations as a step towards the abolition of the concept of a nation.

BrendanGalway
21-05-2010, 11:15 AM
Brendan, full marks for your tenacity. The country would be in much better shape if more people cared as much.

Cheers Lad. :)



The Irish Socialist Network, the Republican Network for Unity and Eirigi (possibly, Im beinging to warm to them but still not sure yet) even though they are smaller have a lot more to offer and are geniunely interested in the working class as whole and not just building up their "groups".

Interesting Rosa, would have any contact information for those Organisations? Might be interesting to see what they have to say on the matter. I have already contacted Eirigi on this.

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 11:20 AM
I think it's most likely that any sort of revolutionary wave in England, Scotland and Wales would give an impetus to Ireland or vice versa. While I can see where people are coming from, the reality is that Ireland is wed to the other countries of the British Isles in numerous ways - geographical, trade, culture, language, trade unions, workers' struggles, emigration etc. Those relationships will not disintegrate overnight because the traditional union is broken and most likely, those connections would be strengthened in a time of struggle.

I could see the same type of unions being created across Europe between the Scandanavian countries, Germany/Austria, Benelux countries etc within the confines of a wider union of Europe.

That isn't to say that Ireland couldn't theoretically end up in a union with Iceland and Spain but I just don't think it's the most lilely outcome.

I've lived in France, Germany, England, Wales and Ireland. I don't think the relationship between Ireland and Britain is all that. It's imbued with deep attitudes of superiority/inferiority stemming from habitual racism of colonialism. It would be very difficult to fix that if you held on to the old political form. Why should it be held on to ? It is already becoming less and less relevant as the EU developes and with devolution.

If all that its based on is an assumption that the English working class will move first, then why hold on to it?

So far, it looks far more likely to be the Greeks, one of the eastern european states or the French.

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 11:31 AM
Cheers Lad. :)



Interesting Rosa, would have any contact information for those Organisations? Might be interesting to see what they have to say on the matter. I have already contacted Eirigi on this.

The Irish Socialist Network website is down.

They did put out some pretty good pamphlets on German and Italian history...Stuff over looked a lot of the time in Ireland because of the unfortunate influence of British Trotskyitism...which was really cool. They are a spilt from the Stickies and based mostly around Finglas but have moved totally away from the politics of the Workers' Party.

I will see if I can find an email for them for you.

People Korps
21-05-2010, 11:33 AM
How would that be a set back?

Every socialist is in favour of unions of nations as a step towards the abolition of the concept of a nation.

Eiregi want a united Ireland and they are socialists

antiestablishmentarian
21-05-2010, 12:01 PM
Hi antiestablishmentarian, would you happen to know who the Socialist Party would have a difference of opinion with? What are these differences, are they surmountable?

Hi Brendan, the SP would have different perspectives from others on the left about the action needed at the moment. For instance, the SWP and other groups would have different perspectives about what needs to be done in building the movement than the SP would have and its difficult to bridge the gap between these positions. An example of that would be their approach to these protests at Leinster House. Demonstrations are always good, but the actions of a few so-called socialists alienates many ordinary people that were there. There's also differences in approach to politics, the SP take a conscious socialist line while sometimes the SWP can veer, for instance they got very over-excited after the rejection of Lisbon 1. Here's an article about the relationship between the English section of the Socialist Party's international and the english SWP.

http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/6705
http://leftwingcriminologist.blogspot.com/2008/11/socialism-2008-review-socialism-and.html

antiestablishmentarian
21-05-2010, 12:02 PM
Eiregi want a united Ireland and they are socialists

With all due respect to éirigí, I think that they are better described as republicans rather than socialists.

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 12:12 PM
http://www.wsm.ie/

These guys can be interestish and they do a lot of work but their position on the Trade Unions is as crap almost as the SWP and SP also their commitment to national liberation leaves a lot to be desired.

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 12:14 PM
With all due respect to éirigí, I think that they are better described as republicans rather than socialists.

Bit hard to build socialism with an Imperialist army and thousands of people whipped up to a frenzy of "Loyality" to the UK state around you mo chara.

Their attitude to the anti-colonial struggle in the occupied six counties is a great way of flushing real from fake socialists.

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 12:15 PM
Every socialist is in favour of unions of nations as a step towards the abolition of the concept of a nation.

Are "socialists" in favour the abolition of the "concept" of gender aswell comrade? :rolleyes:

antiestablishmentarian
21-05-2010, 12:25 PM
Bit hard to build socialism with an Imperialist army and thousands of people whipped up to a frenzy of "Loyality" to the UK state around you mo chara.

Their attitude to the anti-colonial struggle in the occupied six counties is a great way of flushing real from fake socialists.

Guerrilla warfare and individual terrorism is not the way to build socialism. Building unity between the working class communities on issues of common interest such as during the NIPSA school assistants strike in 2007 is the way to build a strong socialist movement capable of giving imperialism the boot, not armed struggle which has resulted in an SF government implementing cuts, privatisations and trying to break strikes.

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 12:29 PM
Guerrilla warfare and individual terrorism is not the way to build socialism. Building unity between the working class communities on issues of common interest such as during the NIPSA school assistants strike in 2007 is the way to build a strong socialist movement capable of giving imperialism the boot, not armed struggle which has resulted in an SF government implementing cuts, privatisations and trying to break strikes.

Who said anything about armed struggle?

Who said anything about the Provisional Sinn Fein (think they stopped being Republican awhile go now anyway...)?

Your tired economism and populalism isnt going anywhere too mo chara. Also refering to the Provo's campaign as "individual terrorism" is a bit much...They were hardly the Bonnot gang were they mo chara?

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 12:34 PM
Hi Brendan, the SP would have different perspectives from others on the left about the action needed at the moment. For instance, the SWP and other groups would have different perspectives about what needs to be done in building the movement than the SP would have and its difficult to bridge the gap between these positions. An example of that would be their approach to these protests at Leinster House. Demonstrations are always good, but the actions of a few so-called socialists alienates many ordinary people that were there. There's also differences in approach to politics, the SP take a conscious socialist line while sometimes the SWP can veer, for instance they got very over-excited after the rejection of Lisbon 1. Here's an article about the relationship between the English section of the Socialist Party's international and the english SWP.

http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/6705
http://leftwingcriminologist.blogspot.com/2008/11/socialism-2008-review-socialism-and.html

Wasn't a fundamental difference between the SWP and SP that the SWP didn't recognise Russia as a Workers' State ?

Who is clear in the political left in Ireland that British Imperialism isn't dead and is still the shared enemy of socialists and republicans ?

Sam Lord
21-05-2010, 12:42 PM
But unionist is unionist , The SP want a union of Scotland, Wales, Britain and Ireland . A bit of a set back for Ireland that would be

It is an absurd position and probably one of the drawbacks of belonging to an "international". I doubt that anyone in Ireland would have independently come up with such a position to present to the working class here.

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 12:50 PM
It is an absurd position and probably one of the drawbacks of belonging to an "international". I doubt that anyone in Ireland would have independently come up with such a position to present to the working class here.

It would suggest to me not that its wrong to have an Internationale - (hat tip to Garland who started a thread advocating one:)) - but that there is a political issue of a stance that unconciously accepts a part of the mental baggage of imperialsm, and that needs to be fought out.

Its not really surprising to find these attitudes in the British left - the British Trade Union movement and social democracy in Britain bought into them thoroughly. In Ireland we don't have that excuse and should know better.

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 12:52 PM
Bit hard to build socialism with an Imperialist army and thousands of people whipped up to a frenzy of "Loyality" to the UK state around you mo chara.

Their attitude to the anti-colonial struggle in the occupied six counties is a great way of flushing real from fake socialists.

Nice to find something to agree on.

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 01:11 PM
Who is clear in the political left in Ireland that British Imperialism isn't dead and is still the shared enemy of socialists and republicans ?

The SWP believe that the working class and the "left" are in a huge historic down turn and therefore the important thing is to keep their organization (the only salvation of the world of course) ticking over through shameless opportunism. They are quietly anti-imperialist though...Sometimes to even an absurd degree (linking up extremists in Political Islam for instance).

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 01:15 PM
The SWP believe that the working class and the "left" are in a huge historic down turn and therefore the important thing is to keep their organization (the only salvation of the world of course) ticking over through shameless opportunism. They are quietly anti-imperialist though...Sometimes to even an absurd degree (linking up extremists in Political Islam for instance).


Political Islam isn't nationalism and not necessarily anti-Imperialist. Its used extensively by the US to attack/break up the more advanced and resistant nations. They are even trying to export it to Latin America (ffs!).

Sam Lord
21-05-2010, 01:31 PM
Political Islam isn't nationalism and not necessarily anti-Imperialist. Its used extensively by the US to attack/break up the more advanced and resistant nations. They are even trying to export it to Latin America (ffs!).

That is quite the blanket statement.

Hezbollah in Lebanon, for example, I would consider to be clearly anti-imperialist.

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 01:35 PM
That is quite the blanket statement.

Hezbollah in Lebanon, for example, I would consider to be clearly anti-imperialist.



not necessarily anti-Imperialist


Hardly a blanket statement. Hezbollah is a different kettle of fish to the "jihadists" I'm talking about.

Sam Lord
21-05-2010, 02:35 PM
Hardly a blanket statement. Hezbollah is a different kettle of fish to the "jihadists" I'm talking about.


Who was to know? You referred to political Islam. Many in Hezbollah would consider themselves to fall under this heading.

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 02:39 PM
Who was to know? You referred to political Islam. Many in Hezbollah would consider themselves to fall under this heading.

"not necessarily" = "not blanket". You're not going to get me to bite on this :D

Sam Lord
21-05-2010, 03:02 PM
Political Islam isn't nationalism ....

What about this one then? Some in Hezbollah might be affronted given that they have shed more blood in the defence of their country than anyone else ...

And getting back to "not necessarily" ...as a matter of interest could you refer me to even one group under the heading of "political islam" that is "pro imperialist" ...

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 03:29 PM
What about this one then? Some in Hezbollah might be affronted given that they have shed more blood in the defence of their country than anyone else ...

And getting back to "not necessarily" ...as a matter of interest could you refer me to even one group under the heading of "political islam" that is "pro imperialist" ...

Do you want to find me one that's pro Communist :D ?

BOZG
21-05-2010, 03:39 PM
I've lived in France, Germany, England, Wales and Ireland. I don't think the relationship between Ireland and Britain is all that. It's imbued with deep attitudes of superiority/inferiority stemming from habitual racism of colonialism. It would be very difficult to fix that if you held on to the old political form. Why should it be held on to ? It is already becoming less and less relevant as the EU developes and with devolution.

If all that its based on is an assumption that the English working class will move first, then why hold on to it?

So far, it looks far more likely to be the Greeks, one of the eastern european states or the French.

I never suggested that the English working class will move first. If you re-read my post, I said that it's most likely that any revolutionary upheavals in England, Scotland or Wales would give an impetus to events here and vice versa. Whether the first impetus comes from Greece, Spain, Iceland or Nepal is beside the point.

It would be extremely strange that revolutionary struggles that would impact on British capitalism, whether it be in Ireland or the other countries first, would not have any impact in the rest of the British Isles.

I'm not doubting that there are prejudices or attitudes of racism but the reality is, there are huge links between Ireland the other three countries and they are relatively interdependent.

And in relation to the habitual racism, this is only an issue if you consider racism and prejudice to be something more than a creation of class society. History has shown time and time again that these sort of superficial prejudices are blown apart in times of class struggle. Look at the support workers in the UK gave during the 1913 Lockout and the reciprocated support workers in Ireland gave during the Miners' Strike. Look at the demonstrations of unity against sectarian killings that have taken place in Northern Ireland over the past number of years where old habits and prejudices are pushed aside. A revolutionary upheaval in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales would bury prejudice and racism.

It's not a question of holding onto the past, it's a question of accepting the realities that exist today. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are completely intertwined, particularly when you look at Northern Ireland, where 1.8 million people, whether you like it or not, are intrinsically linked up with British capitalism. On top of that, it would be a ridiculous to decide not to call on workers in England, Scotland and Wales to link up with workers in Ireland during a revolution.



Eiregi want a united Ireland and they are socialists

What's your point? The Socialist Party and its forerunners have always argued that a socialist revolution would blow partition apart.

And by the way, British capitalism would also like a united Ireland. It would save them billions a year in subventions and security costs. The problem is that they've created a situation where they can't withdraw.



Are "socialists" in favour the abolition of the "concept" of gender aswell comrade?

Gender exists, nation states are arbitrarily drawn lines on a map designed to divide and rule in some cases and to prop up national capitalism in others. You might want to do yourself a favour and read some Rosa Luxemburg, it might help.



It is an absurd position and probably one of the drawbacks of belonging to an "international". I doubt that anyone in Ireland would have independently come up with such a position to present to the working class here.

Why is it an absurd position to build links between workers across borders? The only situation in which it would be absurd is if you value national indepedence above international workers' unity. And I think you'll find that the position didn't come from the International but came from socialists in Ireland. And if you think there are drawbacks in having an International, well, that sums it up.



It would suggest to me not that its wrong to have an Internationale - (hat tip to Garland who started a thread advocating one) - but that there is a political issue of a stance that unconciously accepts a part of the mental baggage of imperialsm, and that needs to be fought out.

Its not really surprising to find these attitudes in the British left - the British Trade Union movement and social democracy in Britain bought into them thoroughly. In Ireland we don't have that excuse and should know better.

It's nothing to do with the mental baggage of imperialism. It's to do with the fact that workers in these countries are already interlinked via trade, culture, languages, trade unions, workers' struggles etc. What you're fundamentally arguing is that workers should actually break these links and should turn towards alliances with other workers purely for the sake of it and that somehow, the working class of England, Scotland and Wales share the crimes of British capitalism.

Sam Lord
21-05-2010, 03:39 PM
Do you want to find me one that's pro Communist :D ?

Can't, unfortunately .... they are all anti-communist.

Your turn.

Sam Lord
21-05-2010, 03:47 PM
And by the way, British capitalism would also like a united Ireland. It would save them billions a year in subventions and security costs. The problem is that they've created a situation where they can't withdraw.



Believe that and you'd believe anything ...





Why is it an absurd position to build links between workers across borders? The only situation in which it would be absurd is if you value national indepedence above international workers' unity.



I actually think we should have a union between Ireland and the USA. There are a great many historical links and considerably less baggage than with Britain.:D

Maybe you could put that on the floor at the next get together of the "international" and see what the British comrades think ...

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 04:02 PM
Can't, unfortunately .... they are all anti-communist.

Your turn.

The "jihadist" fighers armed by Brzezinski - the US - to fight the Russian forces in Afghanistan.

http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2008/10/31/brzezinskisplash_uNsFM_18811.jpg

Can't find it right now, but there's video of them in action.


The same guys flown in to Bosnia.

Our old friend Rosza Flores.

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 04:02 PM
Gender exists, nation states are arbitrarily drawn lines on a map designed to divide and rule in some cases and to prop up national capitalism in others. You might want to do yourself a favour and read some Rosa Luxemburg, it might help..

I know her views on the national question and I disagree with them...Think Lenin was actually right over her there, maybe you should try reading comrade Stalin's work on the issue mo chara? ;)

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 04:06 PM
I dont think Sam Lord is against an international...Just one that emerges organically from the bottom up rather than one that attempts to oppose itself artifically from the top.

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 04:29 PM
I never suggested that the English working class will move first. If you re-read my post, I said that it's most likely that any revolutionary upheavals in England, Scotland or Wales would give an impetus to events here and vice versa.



Whether the first impetus comes from Greece, Spain, Iceland or Nepal is beside the point
.

Not at all beside the point. It's quite possible that there could be a period in which the British ruling class held on in isolation from the rest of Europe. God knows they're trying now. The State and society is being progressively militarised.


It would be extremely strange that revolutionary struggles that would impact on British capitalism, whether it be in Ireland or the other countries first, would not have any impact in the rest of the British Isles.

The Greek events have impacted on the whole world, as have the Thailand events. These things aren't exclusive to the geographical entity of the British isles. Look at the effect the Russian revolution had. You can't predict the course of events, you said yourself.


I'm not doubting that there are prejudices or attitudes of racism but the reality is, there are huge links between Ireland the other three countries and they are relatively interdependent. Agree with Sam Lord here. There is interdependence with Europe and the US as well as the UK - its a diminishing dependence.


And in relation to the habitual racism, this is only an issue if you consider racism and prejudice to be something more than a creation of class society. The ideology of this class society has had a profound effect on the British Labour movement - there's plenty written on this by Trotsky and also Marx and Engels. The basis for it has been the superprofits of Empire and post empire dominance of resources outside Britain. Globalism is undercutting the basis, but the immediate effects aren't an automatic withering away of racism - in fact, the loss of privilege by the British middle class creates dangerous conditions for xenophobia and racism.


History has shown time and time again that these sort of superficial prejudices are blown apart in times of class struggle. Look at the support workers in the UK gave during the 1913 Lockout and the reciprocated support workers in Ireland gave during the Miners' Strike. Look at the demonstrations of unity against sectarian killings that have taken place in Northern Ireland over the past number of years where old habits and prejudices are pushed aside.



A revolutionary upheaval in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales would bury prejudice and racism.


You seem to have only the one scenario stuck in your head. When you say yourself you don't know what's going to happen, surely its time to question that?


It's not a question of holding onto the past, it's a question of accepting the realities that exist today. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are completely intertwined, particularly when you look at Northern Ireland, where 1.8 million people, whether you like it or not, are intrinsically linked up with British capitalism.

You say that racism would disappear in revolution - but not colonial attachments ?


On top of that, it would be a ridiculous to decide not to call on workers in England, Scotland and Wales to link up with workers in Ireland during a revolution.

Now, whoever suggested that ? But what about the rest of the world ?


What's your point? The Socialist Party and its forerunners have always argued that a socialist revolution would blow partition apart.


And by the way, British capitalism would also like a united Ireland. It would save them billions a year in subventions and security costs. The problem is that they've created a situation where they can't withdraw.

Do you think they created that by accident ? There are permanent military defence reasons why Britain will not voluntarily give up ports and a land base in Ireland.


It's nothing to do with the mental baggage of imperialism. It's to do with the fact that workers in these countries are already interlinked via trade, culture, languages, trade unions, workers' struggles etc.

In relative terms, much less so than you seem to think, and increasingly relatively less so. The planet is economically and socially becoming globalised. You are clinging on to the past.


What you're fundamentally arguing is that workers should actually break these links and should turn towards alliances with other workers purely for the sake of it and that somehow, the working class of England, Scotland and Wales share the crimes of British capitalism.

No its not what I'm arguing at all. To the extent that it would be better to substantiate it or withdraw it. Its only you who have mentioned the "crimes of British capitalism".

Do you not differentiate between the leadership of the labour movement -the Trade Unions leadership and Social Democracy - and the working class?
It this leadership not dominated by the prevailing ideology ? And at this stage does this ideology influence the working class ?

antiestablishmentarian
21-05-2010, 08:35 PM
Wasn't a fundamental difference between the SWP and SP that the SWP didn't recognise Russia as a Workers' State ?

Who is clear in the political left in Ireland that British Imperialism isn't dead and is still the shared enemy of socialists and republicans ?

Historically that would have been a major difference alright, although there are other things such as the national question in Ireland and also the SWP's uncritical support for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. The SP knows that British Imperialism is an enemy of workers, and the predecessor, Militant, argued against the deployment of troops in the North in 1969 at a time when others on the left argued they should be to protect the working class catholic community, which they were never obviously going to do and which they failed at. The position would have been a call on the unions to form joint-community defence guards to defend the communities from attack by sectarians of both communities.

Here's a quote by one comrade, recently deceased, in a pamphlet which sets forth the SP position on the North:

'On the question of the border and partition we are alone in having a position that does not bend into either sectarian camp, but upholds the rights of both sections of the working class and puts class rather than sectional interests first.

We are opposed to all capitalist "solutions" as completely unworkable. This means we are against any attempt to force Protestants into a capitalist united Ireland, just as we are against attempts to coerce Catholics to accept the status quo. We advocate a socialist Ireland as an equal and voluntary part of a socialist federation of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland which in turn would be part of a wider European socialist federation or confederation.

A socialist Ireland means a single socialist state, not a continuation of partition. But in putting this forward we have to take account of the doubts and reservations that are very deeply felt in the Protestant community. It can only be advanced if, alongside it, there is an assurance that Protestants would not be coerced into a single socialist state against their will. Should they remain opposed even to a socialist united Ireland they would be given the right to opt out and some other political arrangement could be put in place; at least until the doubts of the Protestant working class were allayed.'

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 09:03 PM
Historically that would have been a major difference alright, although there are other things such as the national question in Ireland and also the SWP's uncritical support for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. The SP knows that British Imperialism is an enemy of workers, and the predecessor, Militant, argued against the deployment of troops in the North in 1969 at a time when others on the left argued they should be to protect the working class catholic community, which they were never obviously going to do and which they failed at. The position would have been a call on the unions to form joint-community defence guards to defend the communities from attack by sectarians of both communities.

Here's a quote by one comrade, recently deceased, in a pamphlet which sets forth the SP position on the North:

'On the question of the border and partition we are alone in having a position that does not bend into either sectarian camp, but upholds the rights of both sections of the working class and puts class rather than sectional interests first.

We are opposed to all capitalist "solutions" as completely unworkable. This means we are against any attempt to force Protestants into a capitalist united Ireland, just as we are against attempts to coerce Catholics to accept the status quo. We advocate a socialist Ireland as an equal and voluntary part of a socialist federation of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland which in turn would be part of a wider European socialist federation or confederation.

A socialist Ireland means a single socialist state, not a continuation of partition. But in putting this forward we have to take account of the doubts and reservations that are very deeply felt in the Protestant community. It can only be advanced if, alongside it, there is an assurance that Protestants would not be coerced into a single socialist state against their will. Should they remain opposed even to a socialist united Ireland they would be given the right to opt out and some other political arrangement could be put in place; at least until the doubts of the Protestant working class were allayed.'

You were in favour of the GFA, so ?

RosaLuxembourg
21-05-2010, 09:11 PM
You were in favour of the GFA, so ?

Yes they were in favour of the GFA at the time but they will probably deny it now.

Sam Lord
21-05-2010, 09:13 PM
Historically that would have been a major difference alright, although there are other things such as the national question in Ireland and also the SWP's uncritical support for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. The SP knows that British Imperialism is an enemy of workers, and the predecessor, Militant, argued against the deployment of troops in the North in 1969 at a time when others on the left argued they should be to protect the working class catholic community, which they were never obviously going to do and which they failed at. The position would have been a call on the unions to form joint-community defence guards to defend the communities from attack by sectarians of both communities.

Here's a quote by one comrade, recently deceased, in a pamphlet which sets forth the SP position on the North:

'On the question of the border and partition we are alone in having a position that does not bend into either sectarian camp, but upholds the rights of both sections of the working class and puts class rather than sectional interests first.

We are opposed to all capitalist "solutions" as completely unworkable. This means we are against any attempt to force Protestants into a capitalist united Ireland, just as we are against attempts to coerce Catholics to accept the status quo. We advocate a socialist Ireland as an equal and voluntary part of a socialist federation of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland which in turn would be part of a wider European socialist federation or confederation.

A socialist Ireland means a single socialist state, not a continuation of partition. But in putting this forward we have to take account of the doubts and reservations that are very deeply felt in the Protestant community. It can only be advanced if, alongside it, there is an assurance that Protestants would not be coerced into a single socialist state against their will. Should they remain opposed even to a socialist united Ireland they would be given the right to opt out and some other political arrangement could be put in place; at least until the doubts of the Protestant working class were allayed.'

You could have saved yourself the trouble of typing all that by just saying,
"We support the Unionist veto".

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 09:16 PM
It's so muddled. On what planet could there be a social revolution in Ireland that left the British (State - edit cf) here ?

red revolution
21-05-2010, 11:40 PM
the problem is you keep confusing the British state with the British working class. The SP want to link up with the British working class as part of an international movement of the working class. This is the diametric opposite of wanting the re-imposition of British imperialism as if you had a socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England as per SP policy it would mean the end of British imperialism today.

C. Flower
21-05-2010, 11:46 PM
the problem is you keep confusing the British state with the British working class. The SP want to link up with the British working class as part of an international movement of the working class. This is the diametric opposite of wanting the re-imposition of British imperialism as if you had a socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England as per SP policy it would mean the end of British imperialism today.

Hi, red revolution, you're very welcome here.

I don't think any of the posters on this thread are confused about the difference between the British ruling class and the British working class.
I understand that the SP wants a federation in the British Isles. We just don't understand why you want to reinstate that as opposed to all the other options.

How exactly do you envisage a socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland ending British Imperialism ? What would the chain of events be ?

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 12:09 AM
the problem is you keep confusing the British state with the British working class. The SP want to link up with the British working class as part of an international movement of the working class. This is the diametric opposite of wanting the re-imposition of British imperialism as if you had a socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England as per SP policy it would mean the end of British imperialism today.

Were you talking about revolution during your sleazy inflirtration of the British Labour Party? There is more that could be said about your little cult but that fact is damining enough.

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 12:12 AM
You could have saved yourself the trouble of typing all that by just saying,
"We support the Unionist veto".

"Protestant" "Catholic"...blah, blah, blah...This isnt the 17 th century and they are ignoring very real political realities...Wonder why?

A spoon full of Unionism keeps the Special Branch away!

C. Flower
22-05-2010, 12:43 AM
"Protestant" "Catholic"...blah, blah, blah...This isnt the 17 th century and they are ignoring very real political realities...Wonder why?

A spoon full of Unionism keeps the Special Branch away!

What do you think the political realities are ?

red revolution
22-05-2010, 07:37 AM
Hi, red revolution, you're very welcome here.

I don't think any of the posters on this thread are confused about the difference between the British ruling class and the British working class.
I understand that the SP wants a federation in the British Isles. We just don't understand why you want to reinstate that as opposed to all the other options.

How exactly do you envisage a socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland ending British Imperialism ? What would the chain of events be ?

The SP advocates a socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland as part of a socialist federation of Europe and indeed eventually the world. This would not 'reinstate' anything as this has obviously never existed before.

For this to happen would require socialist revolutions all over the world, but especially in the most industrially advanced core of capitalism i.e. the EU and US. This could happen rapidly once key countries went socialist, or more gradually over a longer period of time, but for it to work in the long term, socialism must be global. This was one of the key points of difference between Stalin, who advocated 'socialism in one country' which inevitably collapsed ,and Trotsky & Marx who advocated internationalism as a core principle.

Therefore in order for a socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland you would need a socialist revolution both here, in Britain and in Europe, which would end British imperialism by uniting the working class in both islands and across Europe and by removing the British imperialist and capitalist class from power.

The reason for a federation with the UK is mainly because they're our nearest neighbours and it would make economic sense as such a large proportion of trade remains between the two islands. I don't see why it would make more sense to be in a federation with countries that are much further away like Iceland or Spain and with whom we have less economic ties.

And remember all of this is in the context of a socialist federation of Europe so the linkup with Britain would be a subregional democratic governing arrangement within a larger regional democratic governing arrangement. Add to that that everyone would democratically control their own workplaces and local communities within a multilayered system of democratically run institutions where all representatives are paid the average wage of the people they represent and are subject to recall and I don't see precisely what the problem is.

red revolution
22-05-2010, 07:39 AM
Were you talking about revolution during your sleazy inflirtration of the British Labour Party?

Yes of course they were - and what exactly was 'sleazy' about it or are you just casting vague aspersions backed up by nothing but your own hostility?

C. Flower
22-05-2010, 08:30 AM
The SP advocates a socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland as part of a socialist federation of Europe and indeed eventually the world. This would not 'reinstate' anything as this has obviously never existed before.

For this to happen would require socialist revolutions all over the world, but especially in the most industrially advanced core of capitalism i.e. the EU and US. This could happen rapidly once key countries went socialist, or more gradually over a longer period of time, but for it to work in the long term, socialism must be global. This was one of the key points of difference between Stalin, who advocated 'socialism in one country' which inevitably collapsed ,and Trotsky & Marx who advocated internationalism as a core principle.

Therefore in order for a socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland you would need a socialist revolution both here, in Britain and in Europe, which would end British imperialism by uniting the working class in both islands and across Europe and by removing the British imperialist and capitalist class from power.

The reason for a federation with the UK is mainly because they're our nearest neighbours and it would make economic sense as such a large proportion of trade remains between the two islands. I don't see why it would make more sense to be in a federation with countries that are much further away like Iceland or Spain and with whom we have less economic ties.

And remember all of this is in the context of a socialist federation of Europe so the linkup with Britain would be a subregional democratic governing arrangement within a larger regional democratic governing arrangement. Add to that that everyone would democratically control their own workplaces and local communities within a multilayered system of democratically run institutions where all representatives are paid the average wage of the people they represent and are subject to recall and I don't see precisely what the problem is.

So the British Isles federation you propose is an "end state" goal, not an interim one ? That to me makes it even harder to understand. Why bother introduce this extra layer, in what you must surely admit is a politically-charged geographical entity, on top of another European federation ?

You are talking about a global socialist economy, with a regional European federation. What exactly would the functions of the British Isles federation be ?

To what degree would you see Ireland as self-governed in this scenario ?

Would you look at my reference to Iceland again - you'll see that I was talking not about an "end state" but about how political change is unpredictable, and how people must make alliances as opportunities unfold, not in accordance with a wish list.

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 09:19 AM
Yes of course they were - and what exactly was 'sleazy' about it or are you just casting vague aspersions backed up by nothing but your own hostility?

Yeah big, bad "revolutionaires" who just happened to be members of an Imperialist party...If you dont understand whats sleazy about entryism than I can help you.

C. Flower
22-05-2010, 10:22 AM
Yeah big, bad "revolutionaires" who just happened to be members of an Imperialist party...If you dont understand whats sleazy about entryism than I can help you.

I wouldn't be against entryism as a limited tactic (and certainly not entryism by an entire party) but with the Militant involvement with Labour it looked more like a strategy. Where were the warnings that Liverpool couldn't be saved by Labour ?

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 10:34 AM
I wouldn't be against entryism as a limited tactic (and certainly not entryism by an entire party) but with the Militant involvement with Labour it looked more like a strategy. Where were the warnings that Liverpool couldn't be saved by Labour ?

I wouldnt join a party or an organization unless I agreed with them...The idea of joining a party or organization that you dont dont agree with in order to take it over stinks of dishonesty and macheveillianism. The Socialist Party love to go on about how Republicans are "nationalists" yet in the very worse sense the British Labour Party is a nationalist party...Its record on the colonies is appalling.

C. Flower
22-05-2010, 10:39 AM
I wouldnt join a party or an organization unless I agreed with them...The idea of joining a party or organization that you dont dont agree with in order to take it over stinks of dishonesty and macheveillianism. The Socialist Party love to go on about how Republicans are "nationalists" yet in the very worse sense the British Labour Party is a nationalist party...Its record on the colonies is appalling.

If I was a member of a party I agreed with, and I was asked or instructed to join another party to do political work in it to win people to our views, I would do it. It should always be a limited tactic. I agree that the idea of taking over another party would be futile and dishonest: why not just build your own ? But I'm not sure of exactly how the Socialist Party's approach was with Labour.

The British Labour Party has been pro Imperialist since WW1.

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 10:58 AM
"The biggest “mistake” ever made by a member of Militant, was made by the secretary of the ABAPTF, Steve Nally, on national television when he was asked to comment on the violence that occurred during the demonstration. He quite reasonably said that the ABAPTF would hold an investigation into the violence on the demo. However, when asked whether the ABAPTF would “name names”, he said yes!"

http://www.revolutiondestroyed.net/pt-riot.htm

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 11:02 AM
"The labour movement should be mobilised to force a general election to open the way for the return of a Labour government to implement socialist policies at home and abroad. Victory of a socialist government in Britain would immediately transform the situation in relation to the Falklands. The junta would no longer be able to claim to be fighting British imperialism ... A Labour government could not just abandon the Falklanders and let Galtieri get on with it. But it would continue the war on socialist lines."

Militant International Review No22, June 1982

C. Flower
22-05-2010, 11:07 AM
"The biggest “mistake” ever made by a member of Militant, was made by the secretary of the ABAPTF, Steve Nally, on national television when he was asked to comment on the violence that occurred during the demonstration. He quite reasonably said that the ABAPTF would hold an investigation into the violence on the demo. However, when asked whether the ABAPTF would “name names”, he said yes!"

http://www.revolutiondestroyed.net/pt-riot.htm

That seems to be a principled guy. As he said, its not so much that Nally said it as the way it was dealt with. What's the "revolution destroyed" book about ?

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 11:08 AM
That seems to be a principled guy. As he said, its not so much that Nally said it as the way it was dealt with. What's the "revolution destroyed" book about ?

Dunno...Just came up when I googled Militant and Poll Tax riot.

Of course they deny today that Steve Nally ever said that.

C. Flower
22-05-2010, 11:13 AM
"The labour movement should be mobilised to force a general election to open the way for the return of a Labour government to implement socialist policies at home and abroad. Victory of a socialist government in Britain would immediately transform the situation in relation to the Falklands. The junta would no longer be able to claim to be fighting British imperialism ... A Labour government could not just abandon the Falklanders and let Galtieri get on with it. But it would continue the war on socialist lines."

Militant International Review No22, June 1982

Some socialists in Britain marched in favour of an Argentinian victory - squaddies threw stuff at them from the top of the Knightsbrige Barracks. There was hell to pay. I somehow doubt that Militant were there, but maybe I'm wrong.

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 11:59 AM
Some socialists in Britain marched in favour of an Argentinian victory - squaddies threw stuff at them from the top of the Knightsbrige Barracks. There was hell to pay. I somehow doubt that Militant were there, but maybe I'm wrong.

Nah of course they werent. They more or less supported the war as that quoate makes clear. There line on the six counties in England during the 80s was that the British Labour Party should organize there...;) Not British nationalists at all.

C. Flower
22-05-2010, 12:38 PM
Nah of course they werent. They more or less supported the war as that quoate makes clear. There line on the six counties in England during the 80s was that the British Labour Party should organize there...;) Not British nationalists at all.

The slogan of the marchers wanting a British defeat in the Falklands was "The Main Enemy is At Home".

Xray
22-05-2010, 02:46 PM
It's so muddled. On what planet could there be a social revolution in Ireland that left the British here ?

You need to define what you mean by "British"?

I am not trying to be difficult, but there is a big problem we have on this Island regardless of whether Westminster passes laws for NI or not.

If we can solve the not trusting each enough, the other problem is really a symptom of the first in my opinion.

Xray
22-05-2010, 02:51 PM
If I was a member of a party I agreed with, and I was asked or instructed to join another party to do political work in it to win people to our views, I would do it. It should always be a limited tactic. I agree that the idea of taking over another party would be futile and dishonest: why not just build your own ? But I'm not sure of exactly how the Socialist Party's approach was with Labour.

The British Labour Party has been pro Imperialist since WW1.

Imperialist is just another word for British/English Nationalism over the past century plus.

I am Pro-Irish Imperialism in one way in that I love seeing paddies all over the world waving green flags. If I were English I would probably love seeing Union Jacks in Oz and Canada. The only reason we did not raise armies and take over other countries in the past is because we were unable to. We were happy to feed and join the armies of others doing it.

C. Flower
22-05-2010, 03:16 PM
Imperialist is just another word for British/English Nationalism over the past century plus.

I am Pro-Irish Imperialism in one way in that I love seeing paddies all over the world waving green flags. If I were English I would probably love seeing Union Jacks in Oz and Canada. The only reason we did not raise armies and take over other countries in the past is because we were unable to. We were happy to feed and join the armies of others doing it.

"What do I mean by British" - a fair question - I should have been clearer. In that context I mean Britain as a colonial power. I distinguish that from ordinary British people who are the same as us.

Whe I use the term British Imperialism, I don't mean people waving flags in the street, I mean the military and naval power allied to wealth grabbed from the rest of the world, and used to dominate others, militarily, politically, economically and culturally for a couple of hundred years. That's the entity that froze Iceland's assets with anti-terror laws and is so eager to leave its last posessions (not) that its making a grab for Rockall.

Xray
22-05-2010, 03:32 PM
"What do I mean by British" - a fair question - I should have been clearer. In that context I mean Britain as a colonial power. I distinguish that from ordinary British people who are the same as us.

Whe I use the term British Imperialism, I don't mean people waving flags in the street, I mean the military and naval power allied to wealth grabbed from the rest of the world, and used to dominate others, militarily, politically, economically and culturally for a couple of hundred years. That's the entity that froze Iceland's assets with anti-terror laws and is so eager to leave its last posessions (not) that its making a grab for Rockall.


So the British withdraw in the morning, we are left with about 20% of the Irish population still claiming to be British. Would to give them some special status in an all Ireland political arrangement? Or would they effectively be treated like nationalists were in NI for most of the 20th century?

I think we have to accept that a large minority of the Island will always have a strongly different identity. If we deal with that properly they may not feel the need to have London backing them up at every turn.

Sam Lord
22-05-2010, 05:09 PM
" A Labour government could not just abandon the Falklanders and let Galtieri get on with it. But it would continue the war on socialist lines."

Militant International Review No22, June 1982


This is a joke, surely .......

Please tell me you made this up.

C. Flower
22-05-2010, 05:31 PM
This is a joke, surely .......

Please tell me you made this up.

Here it is...


The labour movement should be mobilised to force a general election to open the way for the return of a Labour government to implement socialist policies at home and abroad. [10] Victory of a socialist government in Britain would immediately transform the situation in relation to the Falklands. The Junta would no longer be able to claim to be fighting British imperialism.
A socialist government would make a class appeal to the Argentinean workers. A Labour government could not just abandon the Falklanders and let Galtieri get on with it. But it would continue the war on socialist lines. First, a socialist government would carry through the democratisation of the British armed forces, introducing trade union rights and the election of officers. Working class interests cannot be defended under the direction of an authoritarian, officer caste, which is tied to the capitalist class by education, income and family and class loyalties. The use of force against the Junta, however, would be combined with a class appeal to the workers in uniform. British capitalism will probably defeat the Junta, but only through a bloody battle and at an enormous cost in lives. Using socialist methods, a Labour government could rapidly defeat the dictatorship, which was already facing a threat from the Argentinean working class when Galtieri embarked on his diversionary battle with British imperialism.
A Labour government would give support to a struggle to overturn the Junta and end the rule of capitalism in Argentina. A socialist government in Britain would make it clear that, while defending the rights of the Falkland Islanders, it entirely repudiated the neo-imperialist interests and aims of British capitalism. It would support the expropriation of British banks and businesses in Argentina, along with the nationalisation of Argentinean big business and finance capital.
A Labour government would propose a Socialist Federation of Britain and Argentina, including the Falkland Islands. Under capitalism, the two countries have been linked to a considerable extent by investment and trade. A Socialist Federation, which would have world-wide ramifications, would end neo-colonial exploitation and open up planned development of the economies, which would have enormous advantages for the workers of Britain, Argentina, and the Falklands. [11]


http://www.socialismtoday.org/108/falklands.html

The article is written against the other British Trotskyists that I mentioned, who took a position of "revolutionary defeatism". It quotes this -



Trotsky explained that in the coming world war – which he clearly predicted from the middle of the 1930s – the capitalist class, if faced with an aggravated crisis and mounting opposition to their rule, could easily throw off its democratic mask and resort to totalitarian, fascist forms of rule. On the other hand, in colonial or semi-colonial countries, the war could stimulate revolutionary movements of the workers and exploited peasantry which could topple fascist regimes.
In the case of war between Britain and Brazil, "If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro, and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil, on the contrary, should be victorious, it would give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat". (p34) Even in this hypothetical case, Trotsky clearly analysed the probable processes and the alternative perspectives which would be opened up. Yet faced with a real war in the South Atlantic at the present time, the pseudo-Marxist sects are incapable of analysing the actual class interests or processes involved.

but it doesn't seem to agree with it. Even though the update admits that Thatcher's Malvinas victory consolidated her position, which had been shaky. The lessons of the benefits of militarisation to draw people to support government were not lost on Blair.

Were Militant proposing a kind of British Imperialism run by the British working class ?

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 05:34 PM
This is a joke, surely .......

Please tell me you made this up.

http://libcom.org/library/militant-falklands-war-1982

RosaLuxembourg
22-05-2010, 05:36 PM
I voted for Joe Higgins in the last election as being the best of a bad bunch...Wont be doing that next time.

red revolution
23-05-2010, 08:39 AM
British Imperialism run by the British working class ?

1. that's a contradiction in terms. You cannot have imperialism run by the working class. To have imperialism you need a ruling class dominating class societies domestically and internationally - under socialism there would be neither.

2. if you read the piece what is being proposed is socialist revolutions in the UK, the Falklands and Argentina, which would unite into a socialist federation - rather than this would you prefer that General Galtieri's right wing military dictatorship had won the war and extended their rule to the Falklands, thus shoring up their repressive regime at home and keeping them in power for longer? Losing the war is recognised as having hastened the collapse of the military junta in Argentina - the strategy outline above was aimed at bringing about the collapse of a right wing dictatorship, not 'conquering' Argentina or the Falklands.

From wikipedia:
'During the junta's rule, Congress was suspended, unions, political parties and provincial governments were banned, and in what became known as the "Dirty War" between 9,000 and 30,000 people deemed left-wing "subversives" disappeared from society. Torture and mass executions were both commonplace. The economy, which had been in dire condition prior to the coup, recovered for a short time, then deteriorated further.

In March 1981, Galtieri visited the United States and was warmly received, as the Reagan administration viewed the regime as a bulwark against communism. National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen described him as a "majestic general." An adherent to the Argentine military's Cold War-era doctrine of "ideological frontiers," Galtieri secured his country's support for the Contras in August, sending advisers to help organize the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN, for a time the principal Contra group), as well as training FDN leaders in Argentine bases. His support for this initiative, in turn, allowed Galtieri to remove a number of rival generals and, in December 1981, he rose to the Presidency of Argentina by means of a coup that ousted General Roberto Viola. Argentine support became the principal source of funds and training for the Contras during Galtieri's tenure.'

'The Argentine loss of the war led to ever-larger protests against the military regime and is credited with giving the final push to drive out the military government that had overthrown Isabel Perón in 1976 and participated in the crimes of the Dirty War. Galtieri was forced to resign'

'After his fall from power, General Galtieri became the subject of damning government and human rights reports into his rule. An official investigation said that about 9,000 left-wingers and dissidents were killed by his junta, although human rights organisations put the figure at 30,000. In some cases, dissidents were drugged and thrown alive from aircraft into the sea or rivers. Others were buried in secret graves, which have still not been found, and babies were stolen from detainees who were then killed.'

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/general-galtieri-dictator-of-argentina-who-invaded-falkland-islands-dies-601232.html

I'm not saying I'm glad that Thatcher's gvt won the war - as events unfolded both actual historical possibilities - a victory for Thatcher or a victory for Galtieri - were negative. The statement above is not supporting Thatcher's gvt, it is proposing an alternative of overthrowing right wing gvts in both the UK and Argentina.

There seems to be an underlying assumption to many of the posts here that you can look at this in simplistic British imperialism vs. a colonised people fighting for self-determination terms, but that just isn't an accurate representation of the situation
a) because the Argentinian gvt was was a dictatorship oppressing its own people at the time that was seeking to colonise more people
b) because the Falklanders did not want to be part of Argentina. Some still want to remain part of Britiain and some appear to want independence now, but that was not what the war was about at the time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_Falkland_Islanders#Evolution_of_Falklan d_Islander_identity

3. for everyone nationalistically outraged by SP policy, just wondering given the choice of only these 2 options, would you prefer
a) a socialist federation of Ireland, England, Wales & Scotland within a socialist Europe and world
b) a united capitalist Ireland

red revolution
23-05-2010, 09:03 AM
If I was a member of a party I agreed with, and I was asked or instructed to join another party to do political work in it to win people to our views, I would do it. It should always be a limited tactic. I agree that the idea of taking over another party would be futile and dishonest: why not just build your own ? But I'm not sure of exactly how the Socialist Party's approach was with Labour.


I'm not sure on the specifics of entryism either but I suppose in a way it's a similar situation with say Patricia McKenna and the Greens - how long do you stay in a party that used to have the same beliefs as you, trying to win that party back, and when do you eventually give up and leave?

It would have been easier for the Militant to win recruits within the Labour party, which was still attracting genuine socialists and was still strongly linked to the trade unions at the time, than it would in wider society - the same would go for Patricia McKenna, she would have found it easier to band up with people within the Green Party than outside it for a certain amount of time - until they finally abandoned all their principles and no political ecologist in their right mind would join them. The Labour Party had a lot deeper roots in society than the Greens though so it has taken decades to rid itself of all vestiges of socialism. Up until 1994 they still had a clause in their constitution calling for common ownership of the means of production:

"To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry of service." Clause IV, part 4.

C. Flower
23-05-2010, 12:09 PM
[QUOTE=red revolution;31501]1. that's a contradiction in terms. You cannot have imperialism run by the working class. To have imperialism you need a ruling class dominating class societies domestically and internationally - under socialism there would be neither.

2. if you read the piece what is being proposed is socialist revolutions in the UK, the Falklands and Argentina, which would unite into a socialist federation - rather than this would you prefer that General Galtieri's right wing military dictatorship had won the war and extended their rule to the Falklands, thus shoring up their repressive regime at home and keeping them in power for longer? Losing the war is recognised as having hastened the collapse of the military junta in Argentina - the strategy outline above was aimed at bringing about the collapse of a right wing dictatorship, not 'conquering' Argentina or the Falklands.


No. I agree with what Trotsky said about Brazil and I believe it applies. The main enemy was British Imperialism. There was a handful of sheep farmers on the Malvinas - any one who wanted to leave could have been given the option.



From wikipedia:
'During the junta's rule, Congress was suspended, unions, political parties and provincial governments were banned, and in what became known as the "Dirty War" between 9,000 and 30,000 people deemed left-wing "subversives" disappeared from society. Torture and mass executions were both commonplace. The economy, which had been in dire condition prior to the coup, recovered for a short time, then deteriorated further.

In March 1981, Galtieri visited the United States and was warmly received, as the Reagan administration viewed the regime as a bulwark against communism. National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen described him as a "majestic general." An adherent to the Argentine military's Cold War-era doctrine of "ideological frontiers," Galtieri secured his country's support for the Contras in August, sending advisers to help organize the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN, for a time the principal Contra group), as well as training FDN leaders in Argentine bases. His support for this initiative, in turn, allowed Galtieri to remove a number of rival generals and, in December 1981, he rose to the Presidency of Argentina by means of a coup that ousted General Roberto Viola. Argentine support became the principal source of funds and training for the Contras during Galtieri's tenure.'

'The Argentine loss of the war led to ever-larger protests against the military regime and is credited with giving the final push to drive out the military government that had overthrown Isabel Perón in 1976 and participated in the crimes of the Dirty War. Galtieri was forced to resign'

'After his fall from power, General Galtieri became the subject of damning government and human rights reports into his rule. An official investigation said that about 9,000 left-wingers and dissidents were killed by his junta, although human rights organisations put the figure at 30,000. In some cases, dissidents were drugged and thrown alive from aircraft into the sea or rivers. Others were buried in secret graves, which have still not been found, and babies were stolen from detainees who were then killed.'


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/general-galtieri-dictator-of-argentina-who-invaded-falkland-islands-dies-601232.html

I know very well who Galtieri was and that his regime wouldn't have been there without US backing. These regimes come into being because they suit the big powers. To some extent its possible that the tussle was between the US and UK over access to the South Atlantic and Antartica, with Argentina as proxy.
But primarily, the war was between an old Imperial power, Britain, and a semi-colonial country.

.
I'm not saying I'm glad that Thatcher's gvt won the war - as events unfolded both actual historical possibilities - a victory for Thatcher or a victory for Galtieri - were negative. The statement above is not supporting Thatcher's gvt, it is proposing an alternative of overthrowing right wing gvts in both the UK and Argentina

Forgive me for saying it, but that's a bit motherhood and apple pie. No socialist was going to disagree with it, the point was how best to deal with the actual situation to get closer to being able to achieve it.


There seems to be an underlying assumption to many of the posts here that you can look at this in simplistic British imperialism vs. a colonised people fighting for self-determination terms, but that just isn't an accurate representation of the situation

I don't agree that it seems that way. Can you point to any post that says this ?
But if the war was one of "democracy vs dictatorship" as you seem to suggest, why didn't Britain introduce sanctions and put military pressure on Argentina to stop the atrocities that were being carried out ?



a) because the Argentinian gvt was was a dictatorship oppressing its own people at the time that was seeking to colonise more people
b) because the Falklanders did not want to be part of Argentina. Some still want to remain part of Britiain and some appear to want independence now, but that was not what the war was about at the time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_Falkland_Islanders#Evolution_of_Falklan d_Islander_identity

Argentina had a damn sight more business claiming the Malvinas than Britain did. The answer for the population could have been to move out, or for Britain to put pressure on the US and sanctions Argentina. But they would not do that because Thatcher had no problem with dictatorship in Argentina.



3. for everyone nationalistically outraged by SP policy, just wondering given the choice of only these 2 options, would you prefer
a) a socialist federation of Ireland, England, Wales & Scotland within a socialist Europe and world
b) a united capitalist Ireland


???????????????????

Are you saying that these are the only possibilities ? And you are missing the point that the objection is coming from socialists as well as nationalists.

You were saying that Iceland was too far to be part of a Federation with Ireland, but you proposed a Federation with the Falklands and Argentina.

It seems to me that your Federations always tally with the colonial and ex territories of Great Britain. Why is that ?

And what exactly are these Federations for anyway ??

Sam Lord
23-05-2010, 02:13 PM
2. if you read the piece what is being proposed is socialist revolutions in the UK, the Falklands and Argentina, which would unite into a socialist federation




:):):)

It's good for light entertainment .... I guess....

red revolution
23-05-2010, 07:44 PM
[quote]

There was a handful of sheep farmers on the Malvinas - any one who wanted to leave could have been given the option.
...
But if the war was one of "democracy vs dictatorship" as you seem to suggest, why didn't Britain introduce sanctions and put military pressure on Argentina to stop the atrocities that were being carried out ?


Argentina had a damn sight more business claiming the Malvinas than Britain did. The answer for the population could have been to move out,


???????????????????

Are you saying that these are the only possibilities ?
...

And what exactly are these Federations for anyway ??

There are actually 3000 people living in the Falklands and esp. as Argentina never had a settlement there in history, I don't see why you support the right of a miltary dictatorship to take over rather than what the people living there want. And why should they just leave to make way for a fascist anti-communist regime? There was no one living there before they got there so it's not like the Conquistadores and the Aztecs. It actually was a terra nullius for once.

I never said it was a war of democracy against dictatorship. You said that. The choices in that situation were a) support the Argentinian military dictatorship b) support Thatcher c) propose a socialist alternative - which is what the article does!

The reason I asked you to pick one of the two options was because I wanted to find out which comes first for you - nationalism or socialism (though it's pretty obvious by now), not because these are the only two options obviously.

The idea of federations is to strenghten socialism by internationalising it, which as I said before is a core principle of socialism. Incidentally that great Irish socialist James Connolly had the same policy as the SP calling for a 'free federation of peoples' - would you accuse him of trying to reinstate British imperialism?

Once again the obvious place to link up with is our nearest neighbours for all sorts of reasons I mentioned already, including of course the wishes of the million or so people up there who consider themselves British - but I suppose you think they should just 'leave' too.

scrawledincrayon
23-05-2010, 07:56 PM
I voted for Joe Higgins in the last election as being the best of a bad bunch...Wont be doing that next time.

I'm a bit bewildered that you use Rosa Luxemburg's name here (albeit spelled incorrectly), given your hostility to anyone who disagrees with you about the national question. Are you aware of what Rosa Luxemburg thought about the national question? Because I can assure you that she was vehemently opposed to the ideas you've been putting forward and was quite hostile to the whole idea of "national liberation."

You are also completely wrong about the position of Militant on the idea of the British Labour Party organising in Northern Ireland. They were always opposed to it, and indeed argued strongly against the "Campaign for Equal Citizenship" and similar efforts to "solve" the problem of Northern Ireland by encouraging British parties to organise there (these arguments were associated with the post-Maoist British and Irish Communist Organisation, chiefly). They were also strong opponents of the periodic attempts which were made to push for the separation of the Northern Ireland Committee from ICTU.

You also use an anarchist version of an Antifa symbol as your avatar - which would again normally imply hostility to the politics of "national liberation". Is there are any reason why you are using such an inappropriate combination of avatar and pseudonym to express these views? Or are you just very confused?

red revolution
23-05-2010, 08:01 PM
:):):)

It's good for light entertainment .... I guess....

right - so there was obviously no chance of there ever being a swing to the left in Latin America, or in the UK in the 1980s just before the miner's strike? thanks for the dose of 'realism'

RosaLuxembourg
23-05-2010, 08:23 PM
I'm a bit bewildered that you use Rosa Luxemburg's name here (albeit spelled incorrectly), given your hostility to anyone who disagrees with you about the national question. Are you aware of what Rosa Luxemburg thought about the national question? Because I can assure you that she was vehemently opposed to the ideas you've been putting forward and was quite hostile to the whole idea of "national liberation."

You also use an anarchist version of an Antifa symbol as your avatar - which would again normally imply hostility to the politics of "national liberation". Is there are any reason why you are using such an inappropriate combination of avatar and pseudonym to express these views? Or are you just very confused?

Im well aware of her views on national liberation. You can admire someone and realise that they were right about a lot of things, and that their hearts were in the right place but that got one or two things hugely wrong. The other comment is just to silly to be worth replying. Most anarchists arent in the Anarchist Federation or the Workers' Solidarity movement. Basically you are being a typical snide little trot...What would happen to a trot if they had to give smuggness and sarcasm just for one day?

C. Flower
23-05-2010, 09:05 PM
[QUOTE]
[QUOTE=red revolution;31671][quote=C Flower;31581]

There are actually 3000 people living in the Falklands and esp. as Argentina never had a settlement there in history, I don't see why you support the right of a miltary dictatorship to take over rather than what the people living there want. And why should they just leave to make way for a fascist anti-communist regime? There was no one living there before they got there so it's not like the Conquistadores and the Aztecs. It actually was a terra nullius for once.


Your formulation justifies permanent possession of these islands of the antartic region by the British. Interest by outside powers only grew in these islands as global capitalism turned its attention to the natural resources of the region. Britain no more went in there to protect sheepfarmers than they went to Rockall for rock.



I never said it was a war of democracy against dictatorship.

So, what do you think it was ?


You said that.

I certainly didn't - I said it was a war between a world Imperialist power and a semi-colonial country.


The choices in that situation were a) support the Argentinian military dictatorship b) support Thatcher c) propose a socialist alternative - which is what the article does!

So, were you in favour of a Thatcher/British victory? The question of the "socialist alternative" that would attempt to maintain a federation with this remote region I find very odd and impracticable indeed. There's no need for a formal federal relationship between each and every socialist country for them to provide mutual support.


The reason I asked you to pick one of the two options was because I wanted to find out which comes first for you - nationalism or socialism (though it's pretty obvious by now), not because these are the only two options obviously.

A pretty odd debating strategy that didn't produce any results.


The idea of federations is to strenghten socialism by internationalising it, which as I said before is a core principle of socialism. Incidentally that great Irish socialist James Connolly had the same policy as the SP calling for a 'free federation of peoples' - would you accuse him of trying to reinstate British imperialism?

The working class is an international class and doesn't need to be welded together in some kind of an artifical jigsaw puzzle strangely coincident with the outlines of the thankfully defunct British Empire. Socialist countries would energetically forge all kinds of alliances and relations that we can't anticipate in advance.


Once again the obvious place to link up with is our nearest neighbours for all sorts of reasons I mentioned already, including of course the wishes of the million or so people up there who consider themselves British - but I suppose you think they should just 'leave' too.

I can't envisage circumstances in which there would be social revolution in Ireland without the existing relations between the British and Irish States being terminated with massive changes in relations. A socialist Ireland shouldn't give anyone reason to leave on grounds of their religion or race. Why would you think that would be the case?

And at the end of the day, some people would choose to leave as they did in the South after Independence and as many white South Africans have left South Africa.

Xray
23-05-2010, 09:12 PM
Reading through this thread I don't really hold out much hope for anyone on the left of Irish politics coming up with any workable solutions anytime soon. The whole movement seems totally taken up with infighting over minor events in history that nobody else in the country cares about.

As usual there is no common purpose or goal on the left.

scrawledincrayon
23-05-2010, 09:40 PM
Im well aware of her views on national liberation. You can admire someone and realise that they were right about a lot of things, and that their hearts were in the right place but that got one or two things hugely wrong.

Yes of course you can.

But here in this thread you are attacking Joe Higgins in a rather vicious way because he disagrees with you about the national question. There's not the slightest hint of respecting someone while thinking that they are wrong about some things in your posts. Yet you are using the misspelled name of Rosa Luxemburg as your tag, and she disagreed with you on the national question much more than Joe Higgins does - indeed she would think of people like Joe as left nationalists.

Either your views on the national question are a litmus test or they aren't. You use it as a litmus test for Joe Higgins, but give Rosa Luxemburg a free pass. This is deeply confused.

Quite aside from that, associating your nationalist views with Rosa Luxemburg isn't much of a compliment to her, particularly when you don't even get her name right.


The other comment is just to silly to be worth replying. Most anarchists arent in the Anarchist Federation or the Workers' Solidarity movement.

No most anarchists are not in the AF or the WSM. And anarchism in one sense is a term so broad as to be nearly meaningless, encompassing everything from insurrectionists to hippies. In amongst this confused and contradictory sea, no doubt you could find someone bewildered enough to be both a nationalist and anarchist.

However, class struggle anarchism, the type of anarchism you are presumably trying to associate yourself with by your use of their Antifa symbol, is more coherent than the wider "anarchist" movement. From Makhno in Russia, through the CNT in Spain, right on up to both of the Anarchist organisations in Ireland, this current has opposed the idea of "national liberation". Their most famous slogan "No War But the Class War" is an explicit attack on the idea of fighting for your nation. Class struggle anarchism opposes the idea of national liberation.


Basically you are being a typical snide little trot...What would happen to a trot if they had to give smuggness and sarcasm just for one day?

Have you ever considered the possibility that you encounter sarcasm, snideness or smugness less because of other people's predilection for it and more because of your habit of saying foolish things?

C. Flower
23-05-2010, 09:41 PM
Reading through this thread I don't really hold out much hope for anyone on the left of Irish politics coming up with any workable solutions anytime soon. The whole movement seems totally taken up with infighting over minor events in history that nobody else in the country cares about.

As usual there is no common purpose or goal on the left.

If there wasn't some shared purpose the debate wouldn't take place.

There's a fault line, ideologically, between politics that wants to keep the status quo and politics that wants revolutionary change. That fault line is somewhere on the left and is continuously being probed and tested. That's what all the debating is about underneath, whether it appears to be about the Thatcher Government, Gaza, or unemployment in Ireland.

RosaLuxembourg
23-05-2010, 09:43 PM
As usual there is no common purpose or goal on the left.

The term "left" is a pretty vague one.

I certainly dont have much common purpose with the Socialist Party and People Before Profit who's goal and purpose is basically as getting much power and presitige into the hands of their own organizations by any means necessary.

Sam Lord
23-05-2010, 10:03 PM
right - so there was obviously no chance of there ever being a swing to the left in Latin America, or in the UK in the 1980s just before the miner's strike? thanks for the dose of 'realism'

Two words ...


Malvinas Argentina's

:):)

Always sad, however, to see cheerleaders for British imperialism posing as socialists. :(

How's the sister party in Argentina doing by the way? I bet the workers there are flocking to it.

red revolution
23-05-2010, 10:12 PM
[quote]
[QUOTE]
[QUOTE=red revolution;31671]

The working class is an international class and doesn't need to be welded together in some kind of an artifical jigsaw puzzle strangely coincident with the outlines of the thankfully defunct British Empire. Socialist countries would energetically forge all kinds of alliances and relations that we can't anticipate in advance.

I can't envisage circumstances in which there would be social revolution in Ireland without the existing relations between the British and Irish States being terminated with massive changes in relations. A socialist Ireland shouldn't give anyone reason to leave on grounds of their religion or race. Why would you think that would be the case?


Funnily enough I agree with most of what you've said above. I'm not talking about 'artificially welding' countries together who don't want to be welded together. It's not like you make a proposal for what you think should happen in the future and then impose it on people who don't want it - everything would be decided democratically, so if people didn't want it, it wouldn't happen. It's just a proposal that the SP think is a good idea for reasons I've already outlined.

You clearly don't think it's a good idea but the only reason you've given is hostility to British imperialism, which as I've explained above is not relevant as imperialism by definition would not exist in a democratic socialist federation. Like you say, I can't 'envisage circumstances in which there would be social revolution in Ireland without the existing relations between the British and Irish States being terminated with massive changes in relations' either - and it is precisely this that I think would make a socialist federation a real possibility.

Unfortunately I doubt it'll be coming to a referendum any time soon but I live in hope and if it does we can both make our case!

On the Falklands issue which we've flogged to death a bit at this stage but I've enjoyed the debate ;) - I didn't mean you said it was a fight between democracy and dictatorship, but that you said I said that - which I didn't.

Obviously I don't support Thatcher but I do support the people on the Falklands' right to decide whichever country they want to be part of, same as I do for any people anywhere, and I don't think Argentina has any particular 'right' to the place cause they aren't any Argentinians living there.

The point of the original article was to advocate a third strategy neither backing Thatcher nor siding with a right wing miltary dictatorship, but advocating allying with the working class in Argentina and trying to use the war to undermine both the Argentine and Thatcher regimes. The SP was not out waving flags at the troops.

Anyway thanks for the discussion and for setting up this site!

Sam Lord
23-05-2010, 10:13 PM
Reading through this thread I don't really hold out much hope for anyone on the left of Irish politics coming up with any workable solutions anytime soon. The whole movement seems totally taken up with infighting over minor events in history that nobody else in the country cares about.

As usual there is no common purpose or goal on the left.

If you think this is bad you should have seen the carry on in Russia prior to the revolution. :)

Sometimes it is necessary to expose the wolves in sheeps clothing for the working class movement to make headway.

RosaLuxembourg
23-05-2010, 10:15 PM
How's the sister party in Argentina doing by the way? I bet the workers there are flocking to it.

Their usual policy to when anything embaressing is brought to downplay it or outright lie. Which makes debating with them more than pointless.

red revolution
23-05-2010, 10:22 PM
Two words ...


Malvinas Argentina's

:):)

Always sad, however, to see cheerleaders for British imperialism posing as socialists. :(

How's the sister party in Argentina doing by the way? I bet the workers there are flocking to it.

Ah jaysis don't call me a cheerleader for British imperialism - if that's what I am you're a fascist puppet, a junta poodle or a US stooge :D We lefties do a great line in antediluvian insults!

And thanks for asking about our Argentinian comrades ;)
http://s223581270.websitehome.co.uk/keyword/Committee_for_a_Workers_International/cwi/8901

Sam Lord
23-05-2010, 10:31 PM
Ah jaysis don't call me a cheerleader for British imperialism - if that's what I am you're a fascist puppet, a junta poodle or a US stooge :D We lefties do a great line in antediluvian insults!

And thanks for asking about our Argentinian comrades ;)
http://s223581270.websitehome.co.uk/keyword/Committee_for_a_Workers_International/cwi/8901

You are confusing a factual remark with an insult ....

Best of luck to the Argentinian "comrades" ... I'm sure they both have a bright future.

Sam Lord
23-05-2010, 10:37 PM
Obviously I don't support Thatcher but I do support the people on the Falklands' right to decide whichever country they want to be part of, same as I do for any people anywhere ...


So let me guess what your position on Hong Kong was .... the people there wanted to remain part of Britain so you opposed its return to China?

Actually it was probably this ... you supported a Socialist Federation of the workers of Hong Hong, Britain and China ... with no change in the status quo until that had been achieved.



and I don't think Argentina has any particular 'right' to the place cause they aren't any Argentinians living there.



Well there are no Irish on Rockall so I guess if the Brits parachute someone there tomorrow it's theirs ...

There is no shortage of uninhabited places the could claim.

C. Flower
23-05-2010, 10:43 PM
Well there are no Irish on Rockall so I guess if the Brits parachute someone there tomorrow it's theirs ...

There is no shortage of uninhabited places the could claim.


Too late - they already did ....


http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=1692&highlight=Rockall


Anyone who thinks they are keen to get out of Ireland should contemplate Rockall.

red revolution
23-05-2010, 10:44 PM
You are confusing a factual remark with an insult ....


so for you the two are mutually exclusive - I take it you were paying me a compliment then? If so, do let me know when you're heading over to the mainland for the next British army parade and we can wave our union jack together.

C. Flower
23-05-2010, 10:47 PM
[quote=C Flower;31718][quote]
[QUOTE]


Funnily enough I agree with most of what you've said above. I'm not talking about 'artificially welding' countries together who don't want to be welded together. It's not like you make a proposal for what you think should happen in the future and then impose it on people who don't want it - everything would be decided democratically, so if people didn't want it, it wouldn't happen. It's just a proposal that the SP think is a good idea for reasons I've already outlined.

You clearly don't think it's a good idea but the only reason you've given is hostility to British imperialism, which as I've explained above is not relevant as imperialism by definition would not exist in a democratic socialist federation. Like you say, I can't 'envisage circumstances in which there would be social revolution in Ireland without the existing relations between the British and Irish States being terminated with massive changes in relations' either - and it is precisely this that I think would make a socialist federation a real possibility.

Unfortunately I doubt it'll be coming to a referendum any time soon but I live in hope and if it does we can both make our case!

On the Falklands issue which we've flogged to death a bit at this stage but I've enjoyed the debate ;) - I didn't mean you said it was a fight between democracy and dictatorship, but that you said I said that - which I didn't.

Obviously I don't support Thatcher but I do support the people on the Falklands' right to decide whichever country they want to be part of, same as I do for any people anywhere, and I don't think Argentina has any particular 'right' to the place cause they aren't any Argentinians living there.

The point of the original article was to advocate a third strategy neither backing Thatcher nor siding with a right wing miltary dictatorship, but advocating allying with the working class in Argentina and trying to use the war to undermine both the Argentine and Thatcher regimes. The SP was not out waving flags at the troops.

Anyway thanks for the discussion and for setting up this site!

We'll call it a stand-off, for the time being :D

I'm very pleased that you and others from the SP have joined the site: I made it exactly to provide a place for political debate like this.

Xray
24-05-2010, 01:42 AM
The term "left" is a pretty vague one.

I certainly dont have much common purpose with the Socialist Party and People Before Profit who's goal and purpose is basically as getting much power and presitige into the hands of their own organizations by any means necessary.

Its not vague unless you want to write a university paper on it. You are either for the small guy against the big one or you are not. Now if the left in Ireland is going to expend all its energy on a load of ***** about the falklands, splinters of the english labour party, communism in munich in the 1920s and the offical IRA in 1972 nobody is going to vote for them.

I am more worried about people getting home help and jobs now than some silly pub argument about some nonsense nobody with a life cares about.

We are living thru a massive confrontation between ordinary people and powerful vested interests. This effects the majority of the population, not just a fraction of 1% of the population that loves all the workers arise talk. Now people will skip very quickly over all of you when the look for solutions if all you can talk about is the falklands and stalin when they are talking about NAMA.

Sam Lord
24-05-2010, 02:05 AM
Its not vague unless you want to write a university paper on it. You are either for the small guy against the big one or you are not. Now if the left in Ireland is going to expend all its energy on a load of ***** about the falklands, splinters of the english labour party, communism in munich in the 1920s and the offical IRA in 1972 nobody is going to vote for them.

I am more worried about people getting home help and jobs now than some silly pub argument about some nonsense nobody with a life cares about.

We are living thru a massive confrontation between ordinary people and powerful vested interests. This effects the majority of the population, not just a fraction of 1% of the population that loves all the workers arise talk. Now people will skip very quickly over all of you when the look for solutions if all you can talk about is the falklands and stalin when they are talking about NAMA.

I'm not sure what made you think the answer to the problems of the country lay in some internet forum. As far as I am concerned this is a social forum where I can wile away my time debating the Falklands, Trotsky, Munich, Genghis Khan, how great Shamrock Rovers are, or whatever other ***** comes to mind. I plan to have as many pub arguments as I fancy and I won't be asking your permission. On the other hand if I feel like organising the working class for revolution I will get up off my hole and away from his computer and get on with it ... I just could be arsed at the moment. But if you think that is what should be done you get up off your hole and do it and fair play to you. Just don't be whinging at me in the meantime about what I want to talk about. If it doesn't interest you don't read it ...

Xray
24-05-2010, 02:11 AM
I'm not sure what made you think the answer to the problems of the country lay in some internet forum. As far as I am concerned this is a social forum where I can wile away my time debating the Falklands, Trotsky, Munich, Genghis Khan, how great Shamrock Rovers are, or whatever other ***** comes to mind. I plan to have as many pub arguments as I fancy and I won't be asking your permission. On the other hand if I feel like organising the working class for revolution I will get up off my hole and away from his computer and get on with it ... I just could be arsed at the moment. But if you think that is what should be done you get up off your hole and do it and fair play to you. Just don't be whinging at me in the meantime about what I want to talk about. If it doesn't interest you don't read it ...

I don't actually think that is what should be done. But a lot of people here seem to take their left wing politics very seriously. For the first time in a generation others in society are actually looking to them to see if they might be right and have an answer to the cul de sac we have been led into.

All I am saying is they wont wonder for long if this is what they encounter.

Sam Lord
24-05-2010, 02:21 AM
I don't actually think that is what should be done.

You don't?

Here ... I recommend this



http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41YN6JG5CSL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

BrendanGalway
26-05-2010, 09:44 AM
Kieran Allen of the SWP writes :

Brendan,

Apologies for delay in replying to your e mail of 10 may. I have been so bogged down with the protests at the Dail and other matters.

You ask about our attitude to left unity.

We are for working with any left wing party on specific campaigns and have gone out of our way to promote such unity.

We are part of the People Before Profit Alliance which brings together other socialists besides ourselves.

We favour a wider alliance that is to the left of the Labour Party and Sinn Fein and are presently involved in talks with other organisations to bring this about.

We urge Labour and Sinn Fein to break with any strategy of going into coalition with right wing parties and would favour a broader left alliance were they to take this route.

In the meantime, we always urge people to vote for other left candidates.

Should you wish to discuss this with me further please feel free to ring me on XXX XXXXX.

Kieran Allen

SWP


****

Looks like everyone is claiming they are working toward it but still we have not seen it. A speaker at last nights Demo outside the Dail also spoke on a need for Left unity. It would seem everyone is talking but so far there is still very much a sense of "Go it alone" amoung the Groups.

Interesting point on Labour and Sinn Fein, I wonder if these groups are in contact with each other. Martin Ferris has described but himself and his Party as Socialist. At their last Ard Fheis, they did seem to leave the door open to FF, a huge mistake IMO. As for Labour, Pat Rabbite calls them a Pro-enterprise Party, I cant see them sitting down with anyone to the Left of their Posistion at this stage. They were represented at last nights Demo however.

ps. There was a thread not too long ago asking if PBP and SWP were joined at the hip. Both Kieran and Richard Boyd Barrett, speaking on Vincent Browne, have confirmed this.

Xray
26-05-2010, 10:33 AM
Kieran Allen of the SWP writes :

Brendan,

Apologies for delay in replying to your e mail of 10 may. I have been so bogged down with the protests at the Dail and other matters.

You ask about our attitude to left unity.

We are for working with any left wing party on specific campaigns and have gone out of our way to promote such unity.

We are part of the People Before Profit Alliance which brings together other socialists besides ourselves.

We favour a wider alliance that is to the left of the Labour Party and Sinn Fein and are presently involved in talks with other organisations to bring this about.

We urge Labour and Sinn Fein to break with any strategy of going into coalition with right wing parties and would favour a broader left alliance were they to take this route.

In the meantime, we always urge people to vote for other left candidates.

Should you wish to discuss this with me further please feel free to ring me on XXX XXXXX.

Kieran Allen

SWP


****

Looks like everyone is claiming they are working toward it but still we have not seen it. A speaker at last nights Demo outside the Dail also spoke on a need for Left unity. It would seem everyone is talking but so far there is still very much a sense of "Go it alone" amoung the Groups.

Interesting point on Labour and Sinn Fein, I wonder if these groups are in contact with each other. Martin Ferris has described but himself and his Party as Socialist. At their last Ard Fheis, they did seem to leave the door open to FF, a huge mistake IMO. As for Labour, Pat Rabbite calls them a Pro-enterprise Party, I cant see them sitting down with anyone to the Left of their Posistion at this stage. They were represented at last nights Demo however.

ps. There was a thread not too long ago asking if PBP and SWP were joined at the hip. Both Kieran and Richard Boyd Barrett, speaking on Vincent Browne, have confirmed this.


Well Done, interesting post and a straight answer for a politician. Although I am not very left wing myself I do think Irish politics needs to grow up and have a realistic choice of left and right wing politics. At the moment we have a choice between almost identical parties that really only differ on attitudes to corruption and pretend Nationalism. There is no point blaming the center or right of it for being strong, it is the lefts fault for not providing a viable unified alternative to vote for. The range of views in FG and FF on various issues is huge but they do not fall out over them. The same type of approach should be possible on the left where a general broad platform is presented to the public.

I think a lot of people think our problems will resolve when FF fall from power. I think the problems FF have are basically a symptom of problems society has rather than a case of them. If we don't address these deep seated problems with the structure of how with run this society then we will not improve things much in the future. Silly arguments between parties everyone else considers virtually identical do not help.

BrendanGalway
26-05-2010, 11:11 AM
Well Done, interesting post and a straight answer for a politician. Although I am not very left wing myself I do think Irish politics needs to grow up and have a realistic choice of left and right wing politics. At the moment we have a choice between almost identical parties that really only differ on attitudes to corruption and pretend Nationalism. There is no point blaming the center or right of it for being strong, it is the lefts fault for not providing a viable unified alternative to vote for. The range of views in FG and FF on various issues is huge but they do not fall out over them. The same type of approach should be possible on the left where a general broad platform is presented to the public.

I think a lot of people think our problems will resolve when FF fall from power. I think the problems FF have are basically a symptom of problems society has rather than a case of them. If we don't address these deep seated problems with the structure of how with run this society then we will not improve things much in the future. Silly arguments between parties everyone else considers virtually identical do not help.

This is it. We could elect an FG government in 2012 and what would change? Much like the conservatives in Britain, I suspect they would announce massive, sweeping cuts on government spending, coming down like a ton of bricks on the Public Sector. I would also imagine a few Sales of State Assets such as Bord Gais, Esb etc. I do not see much meaningful Difference between FF and FG except perhaps the speed that they would implement Policy. As long as it’s a choice between two Right Govts, both of whom make Policy based on how it will be received by the Markets, our country is set to become a more difficult place to live in.

A genuine Left alternative would start by stating the obvious. That we are akin to someone who has had their hearts broken countless times by a serial-cheater yet keep accepting him/her back. The Capitalist system as it currently stands has enriched a few and given misery to the Majority time and time again, the effect of continual cycles of Boom and Bust. Perhaps its time to abandon that system and consider other options. A Left alternative can offer people a Fair system based on Justice and Equality. Principled people who stay true to their core beliefs and are prepared to pass Unpopular laws because they take a Long term view of this Nation, Decades as opposed to Months.

This is certainly the time and I get a sense from a lot of people that any Alternative that is Coherent, Principled and represents the ordinary people would draw support from all sectors of the Population. It most definitely is an Idea whos time has come. So get it together Folks!

Xray
26-05-2010, 11:29 AM
This is it. We could elect an FG government in 2012 and what would change? Much like the conservatives in Britain, I suspect they would announce massive, sweeping cuts on government spending, coming down like a ton of bricks on the Public Sector. I would also imagine a few Sales of State Assets such as Bord Gais, Esb etc. I do not see much meaningful Difference between FF and FG except perhaps the speed that they would implement Policy. As long as it’s a choice between two Right Govts, both of whom make Policy based on how it will be received by the Markets, our country is set to become a more difficult place to live in.

A genuine Left alternative would start by stating the obvious. That we are akin to someone who has had their hearts broken countless times by a serial-cheater yet keep accepting him/her back. The Capitalist system as it currently stands has enriched a few and given misery to the Majority time and time again, the effect of continual cycles of Boom and Bust. Perhaps its time to abandon that system and consider other options. A Left alternative can offer people a Fair system based on Justice and Equality. Principled people who stay true to their core beliefs and are prepared to pass Unpopular laws because they take a Long term view of this Nation, Decades as opposed to Months.

This is certainly the time and I get a sense from a lot of people that any Alternative that is Coherent, Principled and represents the ordinary people would draw support from all sectors of the Population. It most definitely is an Idea whos time has come. So get it together Folks!

Not only that, but if there was a relatively unified left with a set of real policies then the alternative right or center might also up it game. A good opposition makes for a good government. We basically have the odd nut job like the PDs, Greens or Libertas stringing up as reactions to defects in other parties usually related to in-probity. It really is the lowest form of political completion to be be electing people because we hope they cannot be bought. The straight people on the right and center need also to drive out the wasters and chancers, they have done immense damage and destroy much of our political and social capital.

We spend so much political and journalistic energy talking about scandals of 10, 20 and 30 years ago that we cannot see what is happening in front of us. We cannot even see children dying or count them any more yet we are tied in knots about what the Church did or did not do 30 years ago. What did the HSE do 30 days ago? or 30 minutes ago? Until we get away from this superficial childish & boring politics based around potholes and corruption we are never going to know.

Xray
26-05-2010, 11:33 AM
You don't?

Here ... I recommend this



http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41YN6JG5CSL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Nobody on the M50 driving the kids to the child minder cares about Lenin or any other pie in the sky. They what something real and sensible and relative to here and now. They don't want a theoretical debate on political science, they want certainty and ideas and people that can deliver them and explain them.

We I see something like that at the next election I will vote for it. I am going towards Gilmore at this stage, but the competition is not intense to say the least of it.

C. Flower
26-05-2010, 01:59 PM
What we've got now is what we were told was "real and sensible". New ways of doing things don't develop without an enormous amount of debate at all levels.

Sam Lord
26-05-2010, 02:46 PM
Nobody on the M50 driving the kids to the child minder cares about Lenin or any other pie in the sky. They what something real and sensible and relative to here and now. They don't want a theoretical debate on political science, they want certainty and ideas and people that can deliver them and explain them.

We I see something like that at the next election I will vote for it. I am going towards Gilmore at this stage, but the competition is not intense to say the least of it.

Once upon a time there was a tribe of people who called themselves the People of The Wet Feet. The lived in a valley in the midst of a huge arid waste. Through this valley flowed a river upon which they depended for their crops.

While the Wetfeet enjoyed their simple pleasures, life in general was hard and they toiled long hours in the fields. Moreover, ever so often there would be tremendous rainfalls in the wet season and the river would burst its banks, flooding their fields and destroying their crops. In past time this happened infrequently but in recent generations the climate appeared to be changing and the flooding happened ever more frequently. They would have hardly recovered from one flood when another would occur and scraping a life out of their valley proved ever more difficult.

No Wetfoot had every left the valley but one day an adventurous young man decided that he would venture forth into the arid wastes and see if there was anything out there. He did not return and the Wetfeet presumed he had perished. After about five years, however, he wandered back into the Valley dressed in the most unusual garments. Word spread quickly and the Wetfeet gathered from every part of the valley and crowded around him.

"Did you discover anything?" they asked him.

"I met many people", he replied, "with customs and languages different from ours and I saw many strange places".

"Tell us all about it," the Wetfeet said excitedly.

"I will, over time", the young man replied, "but first I have some important news. In many places I saw people with similar flooding problems to ours and they were trying to solve them in many ways. The one with the greatest potential I think was what they called Floodgates ... devices that will trap the water upstream when the rains come and then gradually release it later. No people have yet quite perfected these Floodgates but I have done studies of all their efforts and documented them in this book. If we study it together I am sure that we can come up with a system that will work for us."

The wetfeet recoiled in horror.

"Study this book!", they echoed incredulously. "Who do you think we are? We are simple people who know nothing of such things as floodgates. We are busy raising our children and working long hours in the fields. When would we have time to study your pie in the sky ideas? We need something real and sensible that is relevant to here and now."

And they walked away shaking their heads.

Today in the valley where the People of the Wet Feet lived for thousands of years there is no trace of any civilisation.

Xray
26-05-2010, 02:50 PM
Once upon a time there was a tribe of people who called themselves the People of The Wet Feet. The lived in a valley in the midst of a huge arid waste. Through this valley flowed a river upon which they depended for their crops.

While the Wetfeet enjoyed their simple pleasures, life in general was hard and they toiled long hours in the fields. Moreover, ever so often there would be tremendous rainfalls in the wet season and the river would burst its banks, flooding their fields and destroying their crops. In past time this happened infrequently but in recent generations the climate appeared to be changing and the flooding happened ever more frequently. They would have hardly recovered from one flood when another would occur and scraping a life out of their valley proved ever more difficult.

No Wetfoot had every left the valley but one day an adventurous young man decided that he would venture forth into the arid wastes and see if there was anything out there. He did not return and the Wetfeet presumed he had perished. After about five years, however, he wandered back into the Valley dressed in the most unusual garments. Word spread quickly and the Wetfeet gathered from every part of the valley and crowded around him.

"Did you discover anything?" they asked him.

"I met many people", he replied, "with customs and languages different from ours and I saw many strange places".

"Tell us all about it," the Wetfeet said excitedly.

"I will, over time", the young man replied, "but first I have some important news. In many places I saw people with similar flooding problems to ours and they were trying to solve them in many ways. The one with the greatest potential I think was what they called Floodgates ... devices that will trap the water upstream when the rains come and then gradually release it later. No people have yet quite perfected these Floodgates but I have done studies of all their efforts and documented them in this book. If we study it together I am sure that we can come up with a system that will work for us."

The wetfeet recoiled in horror.

"Study this book!", they echoed incredulously. "Who do you think we are? We are simple people who know nothing of such things as floodgates. We are busy raising our children and working long hours in the fields. When would we have time to study your pie in the sky ideas? We need something real and sensible that is relevant to here and now."

And they walked away shaking their heads.

Today in the valley where the People of the Wet Feet lived for thousands of years there is no trace of any civilisation.

Well we effectively have many people returning with many such books and belting each other over the head with them, while the guys in charge rob the crops. There is no one big idea that will solve this.

Sam Lord
26-05-2010, 02:54 PM
There is no one big idea that will solve this.

Yes, there is. It is called socialism. It is a very big idea and needs a lot of discussion.

I am continually astonished that people to this day still think the status quo, all be it with some sort of tinkering, is an option. It beggers belief actually.

BrendanGalway
26-05-2010, 03:03 PM
I am continually astonished that people to this day still think the status quo, all be it with some sort of tinkering, is an option. It beggers belief actually.

This is what people who vote FG will be hoping for. Which is why they will be bitterly Amazed and Disappointed when the new governments first act to to hammer our standard of living at the behest of Brussels and the European Central Bank. We see this now in Democracies all over the World where this kind of trouble is occuring, a change of Government takes place yet the Policies persist. We are changing the Driver of the Train who can decide the Speed, not the direction.

C. Flower
26-05-2010, 03:08 PM
This is what people who vote FG will be hoping for. Which is why they will be bitterly Amazed and Disappointed when the new governments first act to to hammer our standard of living at the behest of Brussels and the European Central Bank. We see this now in Democracies all over the World where this kind of trouble is occuring, a change of Government takes place yet the Policies persist. We are changing the Driver of the Train who can decide the Speed, not the direction.

Not only that, but Fine Gael would take pleasure in privatising every last asset we have according to their current policies.

Xray
26-05-2010, 03:09 PM
Yes, there is. It is called socialism. It is a very big idea and needs a lot of discussion.

I am continually astonished that people to this day still think the status quo, all be it with some sort of tinkering, is an option. It beggers belief actually.

meaningless term, too broad. that could be sweden, USSR, north korea, new labour, bertie or cuba.

Sam Lord
26-05-2010, 03:14 PM
meaningless term, too broad. that could be sweden, USSR, north korea, new labour, bertie or cuba.

Stick with capitalism so .... good luck to your kids.

RosaLuxembourg
26-05-2010, 03:19 PM
Stick with capitalism so .... good luck to your kids.

He does have a point though.

I think the key definition of socialism is the abolition of the market and instead having production and distribution for need and/or desire as opposed to exchange.

Does the market exist in Sweden and Cuba?

Sam Lord
26-05-2010, 03:38 PM
He does have a point though.

I think the key definition of socialism is the abolition of the market and instead having production and distribution for need and/or desire as opposed to exchange.

Does the market exist in Sweden and Cuba?

Key components in my understanding:

1. Social ownership of the means of production.

2. Production to meet needs and not for profit.

3. Political power of the working class.

Sweden is a straightforward capitalist country... always has been. Never really studied Cuba but from what I know it probably could not be characterised as socialist. There is a lot of foreign investment in the tourism sector for example.

antiestablishmentarian
26-05-2010, 03:52 PM
Key components in my understanding:

1. Social ownership of the means of production.

2. Production to meet needs and not for profit.

3. Political power of the working class.

Sweden is a straightforward capitalist country... always has been. Never really studied Cuba but from what I know it probably could not be characterised as socialist. There is a lot of foreign investment in the tourism sector for example.

Add democratic control to the social ownership one and bingo thats what I'd call socialism.

Xray
26-05-2010, 03:55 PM
Stick with capitalism so .... good luck to your kids.

I am not sure what we have now but it certainly is not capitalism. In capitalism if you lose you money its gone not taken over by the state.

You also need to define "the working class".

Socialism is meaningless unless you can tell people what you will actuall do for them.
What will you nationalise. what does that mean, who will control it, how would the working class control politics? what are the "means of production"? Private farms for example? does the right to property end? Do we own Intel and Ryanair?

Pie in the sky.

Xray
26-05-2010, 03:56 PM
So is China socialist?

It seems that no where is Socialist or ever has been as far as I can make out.

RosaLuxembourg
26-05-2010, 04:08 PM
So is China socialist?

It seems that no where is Socialist or ever has been as far as I can make out.

You have to remember that Mao was clear that the revolution that founded the People's Republic of China was not a socialist one but a "New Democratic" one made up of the progressive and patriot capitalists, farmers big and small, just about anyone who wasnt a fuedal lord of working for foreign interests, which goes along way to explaining a lot of the "drama" of the Mao years. Certainly parts of the china and the chinese economy were socialist but all that was done away with when Deng imprisoned the "Gang of Four".

Sam Lord
26-05-2010, 04:16 PM
I am not sure what we have now but it certainly is not capitalism. In capitalism if you lose you money its gone not taken over by the state.



It is called State Monopoly Capitalism. It is not like the capitalism of two hundred years ago. Economic systems are not static ... they change and develop over time. State monopoly capitalism is what capitalism necessarily develops into. As Marx pointed out "One capitalist kills many". Then the big ones left standing begin to use the state for their purposes.. as an instrument of extracting money from Joe Soap to go into their pockets. Concentration and centralisation of wealth is an IRON LAW of capitalism ... it has not ever been different anywhere and cannot be different.

To put it simply think of the game of monopoly which I am sure you have played. All the wannabe capitalists start with the same amount of money and the go around and around the board. Soon some are busted while others have little Green house and few have big red hotels. Then by the end of the game there is only one man standing.

Sam Lord
26-05-2010, 04:28 PM
So is China socialist?

It seems that no where is Socialist or ever has been as far as I can make out.

China is one of the biggest capitalist states in the world today.

There have been many attempts to build socialist societies but they have been defeated to date. But it does not matter if you lose battles as long as you win the war. :)

C. Flower
26-05-2010, 05:45 PM
I doubt the first wheel worked that well either. Any individual state or small group of socialist states has to contend with the hostility of surrounding capitalist states. It will probably take a pretty subtantial tranche of the world economy to be introducing socialism for it to start to work well.

BrendanGalway
27-05-2010, 10:41 PM
The Irish Socialist Network, the Republican Network for Unity and Eirigi (possibly, Im beinging to warm to them but still not sure yet) even though they are smaller have a lot more to offer and are geniunely interested in the working class as whole and not just building up their "groups".

Cool. I saw the Irish Socialist Network at Tuesdays protest. I'll contact them for their thoughts on this regard.

Im not sure about the Republican Network for Unity. Rosa, do you know if they have a Political Presence in the Republic?

Are there any Eirigi members amoung us? Check your emails! :)

Xray
28-05-2010, 08:50 PM
I doubt the first wheel worked that well either. Any individual state or small group of socialist states has to contend with the hostility of surrounding capitalist states. It will probably take a pretty subtantial tranche of the world economy to be introducing socialism for it to start to work well.

By that logic we should give the third reich another go too...

C. Flower
28-05-2010, 08:53 PM
By that logic we should give the third reich another go too...

By what logic ?

If it hadn't been for the enormous fight put up by the Soviet Union, we might well have still have the Third Reich.

antiestablishmentarian
28-05-2010, 11:08 PM
Cool. I saw the Irish Socialist Network at Tuesdays protest. I'll contact them for their thoughts on this regard.

Im not sure about the Republican Network for Unity. Rosa, do you know if they have a Political Presence in the Republic?

Are there any Eirigi members amoung us? Check your emails! :)

I'd recommend the SP because we are a very working class organisation, but we are a trotskyist organisation as opposed to the ISN which would be luxemburgist. Eirigí and the RNU would be republican socialists as in they'd view the national question as being of paramount importance instead of the fight against the current capitalist system.

C. Flower
04-06-2010, 11:05 PM
http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=2234



This march is part of the Europe wide week of protest and solidarity with workers across Europe that was called by Joe Higgins and endorsed by a number of left wing MEP's, and groups including the SP, SWP, Eirigí, the Workers Solidarity Movement, the Workers Party, the Irish Socialist Network and the Right to Work campaign.


A joint demonstration on 26th June: so, there are some signs that the groups are in touch and able to organise events together.

Kid Ryder
05-06-2010, 12:03 AM
Yes, there is. It is called socialism. It is a very big idea and needs a lot of discussion.

I am continually astonished that people to this day still think the status quo, all be it with some sort of tinkering, is an option. It beggers belief actually.

Definite +1 there. I like Xray but the poverty of his/her imagination is worrying, especially because it's the condition of the most of 'rich world' humanity these times. It must be truly depressing to think that there's little more to human nature than greed and violence. And this worldview probably comes courtesy of a 'christian education'.

Sam Lord
05-06-2010, 12:04 AM
Eirigí and the RNU would be republican socialists as in they'd view the national question as being of paramount importance instead of the fight against the current capitalist system.

Their position is actually more of a socialist one than that of any trotskyite organisation in Ireland. This is because in the age of imperialism it is not possible to separate the national question from the struggle for socialism.

James Connolly nailed this when he wrote:

"The cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland; the cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour".

C. Flower
05-06-2010, 12:38 AM
Their position is actually more of a socialist one than that of any trotskyite organisation in Ireland. This is because in the age of imperialism it is not possible to separate the national question from the struggle for socialism.

James Connolly nailed this when he wrote:

"The cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland; the cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour".

Same enemy, but not the same solution. I think we may be at the stage at which nationalism can't get further without socialism.
But any party that doesn't recognise that socialism in Ireland means conflict with the British State is not in the real world.

Sam Lord
05-06-2010, 01:31 PM
Same enemy, but not the same solution. I think we may be at the stage at which nationalism can't get further without socialism.


Connolly's analysis was quite profound. I am not sure, however, about what you are adding to it.

C. Flower
05-06-2010, 01:42 PM
Connolly's analysis was quite profound. I am not sure, however, about what you are adding to it.

A late night post, and not very clear. Am I adding to it ?

I look at SF, dying to jump into bed with FF. Nationalism on its own only gives us a government that will rob us in favour of the banking system and hands us to the IMF.

On the other hand, parties like the Workers Party and the Socialist Party that seem to think that Ireland could become independent and/or socialist without confrontation with the British State seem to be to be for the birds.

Sam Lord
05-06-2010, 02:56 PM
I look at SF, dying to jump into bed with FF. Nationalism on its own only gives us a government that will rob us in favour of the banking system and hands us to the IMF.

On the other hand, parties like the Workers Party and the Socialist Party that seem to think that Ireland could become independent and/or socialist without confrontation with the British State seem to be to be for the birds.

OK, I see. You were explaining what Connolly meant to those of us unable to understand his thesis.

C. Flower
05-06-2010, 03:28 PM
OK, I see. You were explaining what Connolly meant to those of us unable to understand his thesis.

Don't be snooty. I'm afraid I haven't read Connolly, and they're my own conclusions.

Sam Lord
05-06-2010, 05:36 PM
Don't be snooty. I'm afraid I haven't read Connolly, and they're my own conclusions.

:D

Everyone should read Connolly. Labour in Irish History at least.....

C. Flower
05-06-2010, 06:20 PM
:D

Everyone should read Connolly. Labour in Irish History at least.....

Here it is...

http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/E900002-001/

Sam Lord
05-06-2010, 06:44 PM
Here it is...

http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/E900002-001/

Thanks... but I have a copy.

C. Flower
05-06-2010, 06:56 PM
Thanks... but I have a copy.

Don't tempt me.

C. Flower
09-06-2010, 10:14 PM
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/0609/1224272122170.html

Vincent Browne - looking for a left alternative ? Centre left ?

ang
09-06-2010, 10:26 PM
If we don't force change now at the height of this mess of a corrupt political system I very much doubt that any of us will see any socially just political change in our lifetime.

RosaLuxembourg
09-06-2010, 10:42 PM
If we don't force change now at the height of this mess of a corrupt political system I very much doubt that any of us will see any socially just political change in our lifetime.

Digout is going to save us all!

ang
09-06-2010, 10:46 PM
I'll stick with a new party with democratic political aims and a mandate to govern.

Murra
09-06-2010, 11:02 PM
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/0609/1224272122170.html

Vincent Browne - looking for a left alternative ? Centre left ?

Aren't we all :rolleyes:

C. Flower
09-06-2010, 11:05 PM
Aren't we all :rolleyes:

There are some looking for a right alternative.

BrendanGalway
13-06-2010, 12:55 PM
Just a quick summary here. We wrote to as many Left Political Organisations as we could find asking them for their opinions on Left Unity as a means of providing an Alternative to the FF/FG. It was sent to Labour, Sinn Fein, the Socialist Parry, Socialist Workers Party, People before Profit, Eirigi, the Workers Party and the Irish Socialist Network (Again, if theres any other group you think should be included, let us know). So far we received a reply from the SP, SWP/PbP and the WP. I have sent a follow up to SF, Eirigi, ISN and Labour. (I was keen to ask Labour if they have any plans to call for a Left Alliance or at least ask Voters to give a preference to other Left candidates.) There was also an attempt to contact the DCTU, who hosted a "There is an Alternative" conference in May. the event included many Political Parties, Trade Unions and Community Activists. Still no reply there.

Those who replied stressed that they were willing to work with others on the Left. Yet you do get a sense of Infighting between some of the organisations and the Right to Work campaign, although it features virtually every Left organisation in the Country, remains primarily driven by the SWP. This campaign represents a great opportunity to see some meaningful cooperation between the groups. If they cannot do it there, what are the chances they could organise a National Election campaign under the full glare of the media?

Its also disappointing that the other groups, especially Eirigi and ISN have yet to reply. While I realise they are small organisations and no doubt very reliant on unpaid work from their members, I would have hoped that they would have responded to a query on their Ability and Desire to work towards a left platform. Hopefully they will soon.

Perhaps a campaign such as this is missing Joe Higgins. He has a National profile, perhaps the only Socialist who can say that. Having someone like him attached to the campaign on a more permanent basis could have drawn more attention from the Media and as a result, concentrated the minds of all concerned into making this work. He is currently wasted in his European role at a time when he could be commentating on the situation at home.

They thread itself is very interesting recommended reading for a sense of the Ideas of some of the groups particularly the Socialist Party. It also features an excellent discussion on Irish Socialism and its relation to Northern Ireland.

Xray
13-06-2010, 01:05 PM
Just a quick summary here. We wrote to as many Left Political Organisations as we could find asking them for their opinions on Left Unity as a means of providing an Alternative to the FF/FG. It was sent to Labour, Sinn Fein, the Socialist Parry, Socialist Workers Party, People before Profit, Eirigi, the Workers Party and the Irish Socialist Network (Again, if theres any other group you think should be included, let us know). So far we received a reply from the SP, SWP/PbP and the WP. I have sent a follow up to SF, Eirigi, ISN and Labour. (I was keen to ask Labour if they have any plans to call for a Left Alliance or at least ask Voters to give a preference to other Left candidates.) There was also an attempt to contact the DCTU, who hosted a "There is an Alternative" conference in May. the event included many Political Parties, Trade Unions and Community Activists. Still no reply there.

Those who replied stressed that they were willing to work with others on the Left. Yet you do get a sense of Infighting between some of the organisations and the Right to Work campaign, although it features virtually every Left organisation in the Country, remains primarily driven by the SWP. This campaign represents a great opportunity to see some meaningful cooperation between the groups. If they cannot do it there, what are the chances they could organise a National Election campaign under the full glare of the media?

Its also disappointing that the other groups, especially Eirigi and ISN have yet to reply. While I realise they are small organisations and no doubt very reliant on unpaid work from their members, I would have hoped that they would have responded to a query on their Ability and Desire to work towards a left platform. Hopefully they will soon.

Perhaps a campaign such as this is missing Joe Higgins. He has a National profile, perhaps the only Socialist who can say that. Having someone like him attached to the campaign on a more permanent basis could have drawn more attention from the Media and as a result, concentrated the minds of all concerned into making this work. He is currently wasted in his European role at a time when he could be commentating on the situation at home.

They thread itself is very interesting recommended reading for a sense of the Ideas of some of the groups particularly the Socialist Party. It also features an excellent discussion on Irish Socialism and its relation to Northern Ireland.

Did you do all of that on the basis of this thread or were you already involved in this? Was this already in train as described on the Politico website?

BrendanGalway
13-06-2010, 01:25 PM
Did you do all of that on the basis of this thread or were you already involved in this?

This was all done off my own bat inspired by this thread. I just got tired, as Im sure a lot of others are here, about the lack of Unity amount the various groups reinforcing the Idea the Media loves rolling out about the The Judean People's Front etc.

Im not sure how impressed people are with the replies. Its good to get some official Word but so far its just confirmed that everyone is working toward it but we are still not seeing very much. No one has yet answered my question about which groups they would not work with or what subjects would be a blocker. Maybe thats too incendiary at this point and not just not the kind of thing you tell someone youve never met.

The response from the Workers Party had an interesting tid-bit about the DCTU conference which suggested an attempt to Organise outside of the Right to Work campaign but they have are not getting back to any of my queries.

In the wake of the MRBI poll that for the first time put both FF and FG into third place, there is a window of oppurtunity now for anyone to float a different way of doing things. The Irish People may be signaling they have finally had enough of the way things are done and We can only hope the Left and get it together to present a Viable Alternative. Before someone finds a way to put the same old Wine in a new Bottle.



Was this already in train as described on the Politico website?


Im not sure what you mean here...

C. Flower
13-06-2010, 01:45 PM
This was all done off my own bat inspired by this thread. I just got tired, as Im sure a lot of others are here, about the lack of Unity amount the various groups reinforcing the Idea the Media loves rolling out about the The Judean People's Front etc.

Im not sure how impressed people are with the replies. Its good to get some official Word but so far its just confirmed that everyone is working toward it but we are still not seeing very much. No one has yet answered my question about which groups they would not work with or what subjects would be a blocker. Maybe thats too incendiary at this point and not just not the kind of thing you tell someone youve never met.

The response from the Workers Party had an interesting tid-bit about the DCTU conference which suggested an attempt to Organise outside of the Right to Work campaign but they have are not getting back to any of my queries.

In the wake of the MRBI poll that for the first time put both FF and FG into third place, there is a window of oppurtunity now for anyone to float a different way of doing things. The Irish People may be signaling they have finally had enough of the way things are done and We can only hope the Left and get it together to present a Viable Alternative. Before someone finds a way to put the same old Wine in a new Bottle.



Im not sure what you mean here...

Thanks for that report BrendanGalway. Would it be possible just to briefly list how the different groups responded e.g.

"Socialist Party" would work with XYZ would not work with ABC - Terms and Conditions = OPQ ?

One possible model for co-operation was the CAUEC grouping on the left in which a good number of left organisations co-ordinated their Lisbon Referendum campaigns.

The Politico.ie website is run by Vincent Browne. It seems to be off-line at the moment. Vincent Browne recently called for a left alliance. There's a thread on it here. It might be worth making him aware of this thread and what has been done so far.

It strikes me that a Face book page with a link to this thread might be a good way of drawing people in to more discussion on this.

Xray
13-06-2010, 04:56 PM
This was all done off my own bat inspired by this thread. I just got tired, as Im sure a lot of others are here, about the lack of Unity amount the various groups reinforcing the Idea the Media loves rolling out about the The Judean People's Front etc.

Im not sure how impressed people are with the replies. Its good to get some official Word but so far its just confirmed that everyone is working toward it but we are still not seeing very much. No one has yet answered my question about which groups they would not work with or what subjects would be a blocker. Maybe thats too incendiary at this point and not just not the kind of thing you tell someone youve never met.

The response from the Workers Party had an interesting tid-bit about the DCTU conference which suggested an attempt to Organise outside of the Right to Work campaign but they have are not getting back to any of my queries.

In the wake of the MRBI poll that for the first time put both FF and FG into third place, there is a window of oppurtunity now for anyone to float a different way of doing things. The Irish People may be signaling they have finally had enough of the way things are done and We can only hope the Left and get it together to present a Viable Alternative. Before someone finds a way to put the same old Wine in a new Bottle.



Im not sure what you mean here...


Well it is an interetsing project on your part, I will follow your progress.
I just wondered if you had read the thread and took interest because you were already involved in some sort of attempt at a link up as I was pointing to on my first post.

I am not very left wing, more left of center/"progressive". I have thoght for many years that the greatest gift to fairly weak successful politicians is the total unreality of much of their most motivated opposition on the left. Having attended one or two demos in my teens I go a total turn off from the obcessions with internal politics of the myriad of tiny groups. A pragmatic, broad based, open minded and more tolerant grouping would be far more likely to draw support from the likes of me. In short I would vote for Gilmore as Labour leader who might actually change something real, but not as a militant Workers Party TD.

It is a clear nonsense that we are still voting on the basis of what way our families went in the civil war. We need to start paying proper attention to economic policy as a central aspect political ideology. It should be the key difference between main political parties. The idea that FG either under Kenny or Bruton is the answer to the mistakes we have made in recent years is frightening. It is basically asking for a bigger shovel to get out of the hole.

It is quite clear that a majority government is possible that is more left wing than right wing. The only thing standing in its way now is the inability of many of the left to come to terms with the responsibility of actually putting words into action.

Xray
13-06-2010, 04:58 PM
Thanks for that report BrendanGalway. Would it be possible just to briefly list how the different groups responded e.g.

"Socialist Party" would work with XYZ would not work with ABC - Terms and Conditions = OPQ ?

One possible model for co-operation was the CAUEC grouping on the left in which a good number of left organisations co-ordinated their Lisbon Referendum campaigns.

The Politico.ie website is run by Vincent Browne. It seems to be off-line at the moment. Vincent Browne recently called for a left alliance. There's a thread on it here. It might be worth making him aware of this thread and what has been done so far.
It strikes me that a Face book page with a link to this thread might be a good way of drawing people in to more discussion on this.

Great idea, Browne reminds me of John Hume, he just keeps knocking out the same couple of basic ideas until he wears you down. He has been right about alot of things for a long time.

BrendanGalway
16-06-2010, 11:51 PM
Persistence Pays! The Irish Socialist Network Writes :


Hi Brendan,

Thanks for your email and sorry for not replying first time around.

The ISN are very much in favour of the idea of promoting a common platform to offer people a genuine socialist alternative. In fact the ISN in the past ten years have put a lot of time and effort into the promotion of such an idea.

On each occasion we have found that the stumbling blocks between the main left groups has been
i) lack of trust and an unwillingness to collaborate at grassroot level
ii) the belief that Party building takes priority over everything else
iii) political differences (some left organisations display an irrational dislike for others on the left)

That said the ISN have and will continue to work with all other left groups in campaigns that we feel should be supported. We will also continue to argue that the left should look to build ties with each other as we feel that there is much that unites the left in Ireland.

If you want I can forward you some documents that we have written on the subject in the past ten years, which might explain better our views.

Once again thanks for your email.

Regards

Paul Moloney
National Secretary
Irish Socialist Network


****************

I think this is the kind of reply we were hoping for. A very Honest answer that paints a clear picture, just not a pretty one. The point "some left organisations display an irrational dislike for others on the left" is especially disheartening. We had suspected that some idealogical Blocks could be in place, preventing a Coalition from forming. It appears that Bad Blood between the parties may be an even Bigger Obstacle, one that could be very difficult to overcome.

It highlights again a lack of Trust between the Groups. This, along with an earlier reply from the Socialist Party would suggest a history of Groups tussling with one another. Obviously some strokes have been pulled, former agreements reneged on....no trust exists between them.

Paul mentioned Documents for more reading on this, I have requested them and will send them on with his permission.

This could do with more thought but right now it looks like a bad situation. The idea of someone like Vincent Browne getting involved is a Good one. It looks as if its going to take an External agent, someone not particularly close to any group and would be seen as Acceptable to all, to break this impasse. Get them to sit down together. Act as a referee or a chair of Discussions. Someone like that cannot be afraid to hold various People and groups to account for Promises Broken either.

Pauls says "We feel that there is much that unites the left in Ireland." How frustrating is it see a Coalition fail to materialize due to mistrust between the Parties. Ive said it before, this is the best chance in Decades to present an Alternative system to what we have now.

C. Flower
17-06-2010, 01:25 AM
Persistence Pays! The Irish Socialist Network Writes :


Hi Brendan,

Thanks for your email and sorry for not replying first time around.

The ISN are very much in favour of the idea of promoting a common platform to offer people a genuine socialist alternative. In fact the ISN in the past ten years have put a lot of time and effort into the promotion of such an idea.

On each occasion we have found that the stumbling blocks between the main left groups has been
i) lack of trust and an unwillingness to collaborate at grassroot level
ii) the belief that Party building takes priority over everything else
iii) political differences (some left organisations display an irrational dislike for others on the left)

That said the ISN have and will continue to work with all other left groups in campaigns that we feel should be supported. We will also continue to argue that the left should look to build ties with each other as we feel that there is much that unites the left in Ireland.

If you want I can forward you some documents that we have written on the subject in the past ten years, which might explain better our views.

Once again thanks for your email.

Regards

Paul Moloney
National Secretary
Irish Socialist Network


****************

I think this is the kind of reply we were hoping for. A very Honest answer that paints a clear picture, just not a pretty one. The point "some left organisations display an irrational dislike for others on the left" is especially disheartening. We had suspected that some idealogical Blocks could be in place, preventing a Coalition from forming. It appears that Bad Blood between the parties may be an even Bigger Obstacle, one that could be very difficult to overcome.

It highlights again a lack of Trust between the Groups. This, along with an earlier reply from the Socialist Party would suggest a history of Groups tussling with one another. Obviously some strokes have been pulled, former agreements reneged on....no trust exists between them.

Paul mentioned Documents for more reading on this, I have requested them and will send them on with his permission.

This could do with more thought but right now it looks like a bad situation. The idea of someone like Vincent Browne getting involved is a Good one. It looks as if its going to take an External agent, someone not particularly close to any group and would be seen as Acceptable to all, to break this impasse. Get them to sit down together. Act as a referee or a chair of Discussions. Someone like that cannot be afraid to hold various People and groups to account for Promises Broken either.

Pauls says "We feel that there is much that unites the left in Ireland." How frustrating is it see a Coalition fail to materialize due to mistrust between the Parties. Ive said it before, this is the best chance in Decades to present an Alternative system to what we have now.

Good reply. I don't know anything about the ISN. There must be a good bit of history as you say, of previous attempts to co-ordinate. Then there are the real political differences between the groups, which will not go away.

It's clear that groups/parties are talking to each other to some extent, although it isn't all roses.

antiestablishmentarian
17-06-2010, 06:17 PM
Just a quick summary here. We wrote to as many Left Political Organisations as we could find asking them for their opinions on Left Unity as a means of providing an Alternative to the FF/FG. It was sent to Labour, Sinn Fein, the Socialist Parry, Socialist Workers Party, People before Profit, Eirigi, the Workers Party and the Irish Socialist Network (Again, if theres any other group you think should be included, let us know). So far we received a reply from the SP, SWP/PbP and the WP. I have sent a follow up to SF, Eirigi, ISN and Labour. (I was keen to ask Labour if they have any plans to call for a Left Alliance or at least ask Voters to give a preference to other Left candidates.) There was also an attempt to contact the DCTU, who hosted a "There is an Alternative" conference in May. the event included many Political Parties, Trade Unions and Community Activists. Still no reply there.

Those who replied stressed that they were willing to work with others on the Left. Yet you do get a sense of Infighting between some of the organisations and the Right to Work campaign, although it features virtually every Left organisation in the Country, remains primarily driven by the SWP. This campaign represents a great opportunity to see some meaningful cooperation between the groups. If they cannot do it there, what are the chances they could organise a National Election campaign under the full glare of the media?

Its also disappointing that the other groups, especially Eirigi and ISN have yet to reply. While I realise they are small organisations and no doubt very reliant on unpaid work from their members, I would have hoped that they would have responded to a query on their Ability and Desire to work towards a left platform. Hopefully they will soon.

Perhaps a campaign such as this is missing Joe Higgins. He has a National profile, perhaps the only Socialist who can say that. Having someone like him attached to the campaign on a more permanent basis could have drawn more attention from the Media and as a result, concentrated the minds of all concerned into making this work. He is currently wasted in his European role at a time when he could be commentating on the situation at home.

They thread itself is very interesting recommended reading for a sense of the Ideas of some of the groups particularly the Socialist Party. It also features an excellent discussion on Irish Socialism and its relation to Northern Ireland.

There are several problems inherent with the Right to Work campaign that means it will continue to dwindle, in the opinion of the SP. Firstly is that the mood within the ranks of the unemployed is one of almost despair and an aversion to activity: this is not some abstract idea, but its what we've experienced on activities where we've intervened into dole queues etc. This means that the constituency they could reach was limited and according to accounts I've heard, there was a progressive decline in the number of non-aligned participants at the Dáil marches. Also, more worryingly, there has been little attempt to build the campaign beyond those protests: there were a number of public meetings held but little attempt to do building work such as knocking on doors, interventions into dole queues and other basic things that help build these campaigns. One example was the failure of the Galway RtW group to build for their protests because of a fear that the cops would show up: secrecy might have perhaps prevented this outcome but it also prevented new activists coming along to it and getting involved.

In terms of other co-operation there has been cross-party co-operation of all these groups except Lab. and SF to build for the national protest in Dublin on the 26th, which is encouraging. However there remain differences of analysis which are at the moment the main barrier to co-operation of the left here. There are also problems with the knockback in consciousness among ordinary working people from the sellout of the unions (Croke Park deal, continued attachment to Social Partnership) which have hindered the growth of a real fightback.

BrendanGalway
18-06-2010, 12:46 AM
One example was the failure of the Galway RtW group to build for their protests because of a fear that the cops would show up: secrecy might have perhaps prevented this outcome but it also prevented new activists coming along to it and getting involved.


I had suspected this may have been a reason the Dublin event petered out. It seemed to be gaining momentum up to the attempted Storming of the Dail. After that, we had quite a large Garda presence at subsequent events. It would have put a lot of people off since it suggests that a Riot could be on the cards. One of the lads I cajoled into joining me for one of them was nervous attending the event for this very reason. I reckon everytime one of a Protest ends in confrontation, it plays right into the Hands of those you Protest against.



However there remain differences of analysis which are at the moment the main barrier to co-operation of the left here.


Have you gone over this already in this thread or is it something I could get you to expand upon a bit more?


There are also problems with the knockback in consciousness among ordinary working people from the sellout of the unions (Croke Park deal, continued attachment to Social Partnership) which have hindered the growth of a real fightback.

Indeed, the biggest problem we have at the moment in terms of orgainsing Nationally is that most people probably dont trust the Unions anymore. I lay the blame for this at the door of the Leadership. Sitting down with Bertie Ahern was the worst thing they could have done. When they signed up for Social Partnership, they became part of the problem and suddenly had an Interest in defending Govt policy.

Once upon a time they would have had Hundreds of Thousands on the streets all over the country every week. Only this Wednsday, we were told by the Anglo Chief Mike Aynsley that almost all of our €22BN recapitalization will never be seen again. There should be demos in every town square in the country. But we have become a divided society in the last few years. There is very little Trust in any National figure or Organisation now. Its hard to see where the Leadership could come from. Little wonder a statement like Aynsleys just seems to be evaporating into the Ether without a word of protest.

Without any Unity or a Banner to organise under, this Pillage will continue. Why not, we seem powerless to stop it.

BrendanGalway
20-06-2010, 05:15 PM
this could be of Interest : The Latest Village Magazine (http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/in-print/) is doing a theme of "Our Divided Left".
It carries a few stories and Interviews with Labour, including Gilmore and Burton. Then a couple of pieces from Joe Higgins and Richard Boyd Barrett.



This edition we look at Ireland’s Left. We scrutinise the Labour Party and find it a little short on radicalism. We also look at alternative political movements – particularly on the left – and find them somewhat wanting in clarity of purpose.

More generally we also survey [ p80] Ireland’s currently-ubiquitous crisis-driven outpourings of ideas on Renewing the Republic, particularly those on RTE and in the Irish Times and find little inspiration there either (though at least they opened the discussion).

**********

While Éamon Gilmore, perhaps the country’s most talented politician, certainly provides leadership in the Dáil, there is little sign Labour is leading the country towards a new humane ideology. Joe Higgins [p6] describes Labour as “fundamentally dishonest about election campaigns”, since it is doomed to coalition and a watering down of the political premises that drive it.

***********

Richard Boyd Barrett [p13] offers the compelling analysis that the Left‘s “failings include being too divided and failing to communicate its message in a language that ordinary people can understand”. But Village prefers Déirdre de Búrca’s perspective that there is a need for a new electoral party and not just a movement or an alliance. In particular there will be a need to take on Fine Gael

C. Flower
20-06-2010, 06:03 PM
this could be of Interest : The Latest Village Magazine (http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/in-print/) is doing a theme of "Our Divided Left".
It carries a few stories and Interviews with Labour, including Gilmore and Burton. Then a couple of pieces from Joe Higgins and Richard Boyd Barrett.

That looks a good edition of the Village - I'll try to pick it up tomorrow.

I see that Deirdre de Burca is proposing a new party. What is it?

Centre ?

Murra
20-06-2010, 11:00 PM
That looks a good edition of the Village - I'll try to pick it up tomorrow.

I see that Deirdre de Burca is proposing a new party. What is it?

Centre ?

It was a good edition alright. A summary of 20 or so 'new' groups/orgs around the country - that looks hopeful but something would have to happen to draw 'the divided left' together.

I must ask de Burca what she has in mind....

BrendanGalway
20-06-2010, 11:05 PM
I dont know if we have Political Historians amoung us but has there ever been a period of Political Churn like we are having now? I dont think Ive ever seen the amount of Talk and Meetings about New Parties and Political Organisations that we have now. A testament to the terrible listlessness of our Current Rulers.

All the better. We seem to be undergoing some kind of awakening right now, a torrent of newfound Civic Interest. I hope it keeps up.

Binn Beal
21-06-2010, 10:12 AM
New political forces don't come about by mergers of disparate, unsuccessful groups but by one organisation catching the mood of the people and being swept to success.

Instead of trying to make a mammal out of bits of dinosaur, maybe we should see what, if anything, is evolving from among all these rival organisations.

It would help if there was a clear view of the objective - being angry at the mess that the present crowd has made doesn't make for an alternative.

C. Flower
21-06-2010, 12:29 PM
New political forces don't come about by mergers of disparate, unsuccessful groups but by one organisation catching the mood of the people and being swept to success.

Instead of trying to make a mammal out of bits of dinosaur, maybe we should see what, if anything, is evolving from among all these rival organisations.

It would help if there was a clear view of the objective - being angry at the mess that the present crowd has made doesn't make for an alternative.

On the nail, I think Binn Beal. But one of the ways of testing readiness of different organisations to lead is by seeing how they do, or don't interact with other groups.

For the first time, there is a prospect of electing a left Government in Ireland. Its legitimate to put pressure on the left to act together on this, and to fight out their differences along the way.

The failure of the Spartakus group to engage in the German electoral process after WW1 may have been one of those turning points in history at which a historic opportunity was lost.

Knowing how and when to join forces is a vital part of the game.

I would be opposed to any attempt for these parties to abandon their individual programmes and merge politically, exactly for the reasons you give.

BrendanGalway
21-06-2010, 11:34 PM
Ive expanded the list somewhat to include anyone attending the Nama and Right to Work protests. Replies Published as they roll in. The Communist Party writes :

Brendan
Thanks you for your considered e-mail. You like many others are saddened by the lack of unity among left party's and groups at this time. It is clear there are no easy solutions to either finding left unity or presenting a credible alternative economic strategy to the one being pursued by the establishment in the Dail either those making up the current or any future coalition government.

Like life itself, while the moment may appear pregnant with potential for change, the means to bring that change are not yet in place they have to be built and won and this takes time.

The left is very defuse and come from different historical back grounds which is difficult but not impossible to overcome. We have attempted over the last two years to hold meetings with different left groups. Some responded positively while the majority never bothered to reply. We continue to work towards the idea of left co-operation in mobilising people in the deference of their own interests. So much left activity is now centered on elections, which of itself breeds opportunism and party self interest while the people remain passive and marginalised.

Our most recent effort at unity was to attempt to find a unity candidate for the forthcoming Dublin Mayoral election and to use the election to build a platform to attack the establishment and to present a platform that would have a wider appeal across the country, beyond left slogans. We want to present a "peoples politics." We are still trying.

If you send me your address I will send you a copy of our recent publication "An economy for the common good".

Eugene Mc Cartan


***************

Once again, a tale of Commitment and Effort without much success. And again, signs that some partys simply will not work with others although Eugene, perhaps wisely, chooses not to Name Names. Its good to see to they talk about Building something "beyond Left slogans".

I think I'll get that Publication and post a review in The Library forum.

C. Flower
22-06-2010, 07:58 AM
Now, there's an interesting one - a left candidate for Dublin Mayor.

If there is any credible left candidate for Mayor, they could walk it, as they have the majority of votes.

The question is, would the vote split between Labour and the other left groups, and would Labour put a real left candidate up or a parachuted attempt at a crowd pleaser?

antiestablishmentarian
22-06-2010, 01:55 PM
Now, there's an interesting one - a left candidate for Dublin Mayor.

If there is any credible left candidate for Mayor, they could walk it, as they have the majority of votes.

The question is, would the vote split between Labour and the other left groups, and would Labour put a real left candidate up or a parachuted attempt at a crowd pleaser?

Labour would probably put forward someone like Dermot Lacey for that, I know the SWP, sorry PBP :D have put forward Bríd Smith as a possible candidate in the event of a mayoral election.They did so without seeking any agreement from others on the left to run a joint candidate and so it seems that this move will splinter the socialist vote.

Its annoying really, the SWP and PBP accuse others on the left of being sectarian and not working with them when in reality they were the ones who vetoed SP proposals for a joint electoral slate in last years election and have now presented others on the left with something of a fait accompli. They are trying to build their own organisation and raise their own profile and don't give a damn about implications for the movement as a whole. A joint candidate (who could possible have been Bríd Smith) would have given an opportunity for greater co-operation and could possibly have been an important step in the creation of a new left party, once again this was scuppered.

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/95649

C. Flower
22-06-2010, 02:24 PM
Labour would probably put forward someone like Dermot Lacey for that, I know the SWP, sorry PBP :D have put forward Bríd Smith as a possible candidate in the event of a mayoral election.They did so without seeking any agreement from others on the left to run a joint candidate and so it seems that this move will splinter the socialist vote.

Its annoying really, the SWP and PBP accuse others on the left of being sectarian and not working with them when in reality they were the ones who vetoed SP proposals for a joint electoral slate in last years election and have now presented others on the left with something of a fait accompli. They are trying to build their own organisation and raise their own profile and don't give a damn about implications for the movement as a whole. A joint candidate (who could possible have been Bríd Smith) would have given an opportunity for greater co-operation and could possibly have been an important step in the creation of a new left party, once again this was scuppered.

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/95649


This may have been done, but I would say that these offers should be made very much in public view, to maximise pressure and to allow people to see who is really looking to work effectively together and who isn't.

If Brid Smith is an acceptable candidate, why not put behind you the irritation of the "preemptive strike" and support her? What's to be lost ?

Binn Beal
22-06-2010, 02:39 PM
Who is she?

C. Flower
22-06-2010, 04:37 PM
Who is she?

A People Before Profit and TU person - has stood in the locals for PBP.

http://bridsmith.org/brid-smith/

C. Flower
22-06-2010, 07:32 PM
Article from Eoin ó'Brion in Irish Left Review on a possible Left Alliance.

He talks about the need for the Labour Party to break from being a support for a Fine Gael government to being the main party of Government.

As things stand, people are offered no real alternative to FG/FF or even to the ghastly possibility of a new "FGF".

If Labour won't break from Fine Gael, it should not be for want of pressure put on them to do so.

http://www.irishleftreview.org/2010/06/22/real-opportunity-exists-argument-ireland/

antiestablishmentarian
22-06-2010, 09:17 PM
This may have been done, but I would say that these offers should be made very much in public view, to maximise pressure and to allow people to see who is really looking to work effectively together and who isn't.

If Brid Smith is an acceptable candidate, why not put behind you the irritation of the "preemptive strike" and support her? What's to be lost ?

Thats the thing though, the last electoral slate was well publicised and different groups posted reasons for the failure to form such a slate on indymedia.

As for supporting Bríd Smith, I haven't a problem with that if it had been agreed on by a left alliance to run a joint candidate but as it stands I think its a divisive move as there now may be 2 possibly good left candidates who will be standing at odds to each other diluting the vote.

C. Flower
22-06-2010, 09:21 PM
Thats the thing though, the last electoral slate was well publicised and different groups posted reasons for the failure to form such a slate on indymedia.

As for supporting Bríd Smith, I haven't a problem with that if it had been agreed on by a left alliance to run a joint candidate but as it stands I think its a divisive move as there now may be 2 possibly good left candidates who will be standing at odds to each other diluting the vote.

Yes, it was a divisive move, but if she's a good candidate, why run another one and split the vote ?

red revolution
22-06-2010, 11:58 PM
Yes, it was a divisive move, but if she's a good candidate, why run another one and split the vote ?

There is absolutely no chance of a left candidate winning the Dublin mayoral election campaign as it will be similar to a by-election which are the hardest for small groups to win as transfers do not play a significant role. Therefore there would be little point in running a joint candidate other than to present a united face to the public in advance of other elections. At the moment unfortunately there is no united front and especially given the lack of real electoral prospects, I don't see why the SWP/PbP should be rewarded for putting their own candidate out first by having every other left group bail in behind them even though they were offered no say in candidate selection - such methods are not how you run a broad alliance of different groups.

If the SWP see such tactics bearing fruit they will be even more likely to pull this **** in future - not that they seem put off by the abject failure of this repeated tactic of theirs over many years. The SWP pull this stunt all the time - set up a campaign, say it's a broad left effort, fill the organising commitee with SWP heads wearing various hats (PbP, UNITE, Right to Work, Globalise Resistance, IAWM etc etc.)and then castigate other groups as sectarians for not wanting to join a pre-made SWP front dominated by them on their terms.

The other method if you want to run a genuine broad left campaign is: hold a public meeting to discuss setting up a campaign, invite all other groups along to decide on campaign priorities and strategy, democratically elect an organising committee with fair representation from all real groups and independents which then decides what the campaign is going to do. The SWP repeatedly do not do this - why not?

C. Flower
23-06-2010, 12:13 AM
There is absolutely no chance of a left candidate winning the Dublin mayoral election campaign as it will be similar to a by-election which are the hardest for small groups to win as transfers do not play a significant role. Therefore there would be little point in running a joint candidate other than to present a united face to the public in advance of other elections. At the moment unfortunately there is no united front and especially given the lack of real electoral prospects, I don't see why the SWP/PbP should be rewarded for putting their own candidate out first by having every other left group bail in behind them even though they were offered no say in candidate selection - such methods are not how you run a broad alliance of different groups.

If the SWP see such tactics bearing fruit they will be even more likely to pull this **** in future - not that they seem put off by the abject failure of this repeated tactic of theirs over many years. The SWP pull this stunt all the time - set up a campaign, say it's a broad left effort, fill the organising commitee with SWP heads wearing various hats (PbP, UNITE, Right to Work, Globalise Resistance, IAWM etc etc.)and then castigate other groups as sectarians for not wanting to join a pre-made SWP front dominated by them on their terms.

The other method if you want to run a genuine broad left campaign is: hold a public meeting to discuss setting up a campaign, invite all other groups along to decide on campaign priorities and strategy, democratically elect an organising committee with fair representation from all real groups and independents which then decides what the campaign is going to do. The SWP repeatedly do not do this - why not?

I wouldn't argue with that description of events or modus operandi. The "Tuesday night" demonstrations were similar. I still thought that the Socialist Party was right to take part.

When did the Socialist Party last call a public meeting as you describe, and how did it go ? Lisbon 1 seemed to me to be one of the better attempts at some coordinated action.

red revolution
24-06-2010, 01:21 PM
Hi C. Flower

A recent meeting organised by the SP in this manner was to build a broad campaign around water charges back in January - details of the meeting and a report of how it went are available here:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/95422?search_text=water+charges

Actions in Ireland in support of the European Days of Solidarity and Protest called by the left and left MEPs from across Europe were also planned in a similarly open manner with Joe Higgins in his role as MEP calling a public meeting open to all interested members of public and also inviting all the other left groups.
The agenda in this case was probably more predetermined given the nature of the event as something coordinated across the EU through GUE/NGL in the European parliament and the short timeframe involved, but it was still organised openly. The first organising meeting was held in the Teacher's Club back on the 29th of May http://www.indymedia.ie/article/96721 and the main action in Ireland is a protest march which has been backed by a range of left groups - this protest is taking place this Saturday so everyone should try to come. Details here:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/96999