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LeftAtTheCross
20-01-2011, 02:48 PM
Voters in Meath-West will be offered a socialist alternative to the failed right-wing agenda of the mainstream political parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

The Workers' Party candidate in the 2011 General Election for the constituency of Meath-West is Séamus McDonagh, a life-long member of the Workers' Party and currently a member of the Ard Comhairle / Central Executive Committee.

Meath is a county with a long socialist tradition, having twice elected Michael Davitt, founder of the Land League, to parliament in London, and being the birthplace of Jim Connell, author of the socialist standard "The Red Flag", the memory of whom is celebrated every year by a May Day festival in his honour in Crossakeil.

The Workers' Party last stood a general election candidate in Meath in 1987. However, the collapse of the global financial system, and the inability of right-wing and social democratic governments worldwide to implement policies which can resolve the structural contradictions of capitalism which led to this collapse, presents anew the opportunity for socialists to put forward a credible alternative vision of society and the economy, a vision which places the interests of ordinary people, the working class, in centre place.

The Workers' Party is placing economic issues at the heart of its general election campaign.

Workers' Party Ten Point Programme:

1. A complete change in the political system which has allowed corruption, cronyism and economic ruin to flourish.

2. A commitment to revisit the IMF / EU deal which has no democratic mandate.

3. A commitment to bring back into the public exchequer the billions which bankers and developers immorally accumulated.

4. A commitment to hold a referendum on the banks.

5. A taxation system which ensures that billionaire tax exiles pay up and that those who can afford the most pay the most.

6. A commitment to introduce a stimulus package which grows the economy, creates jobs and badly needed public infrastructure and generates tax revenues.

7. The development of our vast oil and gas resources in the national interest and not private profit.

8. The revamping of our state and semi-state companies under democratic control and accountability, as the engine of economic growth and recovery.

9. A commitment to reverse the cuts introduced in Budget 2010 to protect those on social welfare, the minimum wage, the working poor, the elderly and those on pensions.

10. The introduction of a wealth tax, a levy on banks and use of the National Pension Reserve Fund to fund a National Economic Recovery Programme.

http://www.workerspartyireland.net/id561.html

Griska
20-01-2011, 03:00 PM
Thanks LATC. In the event of a WP being elected to the Dail (chances are slim, I personally think), what's the word on who they would support? Would they be prepared to form a group with other TDs?

LeftAtTheCross
20-01-2011, 03:37 PM
Thanks LATC. In the event of a WP being elected to the Dail (chances are slim, I personally think), what's the word on who they would support? Would they be prepared to form a group with other TDs?

Hi Griska, do you mean the ULA? I don't know to be honest. There's enough overlap on the ULA minimim programme to make that a possibility I would imagine. If there's a will there's a way. Not specific on the ULA question, but generally, the history in the 80s with the FF minority gov't shows that the WP has the political maturity to support a gov't arrangement, conditional on whatever programme is agreed. I don't think the WP is an oppositionist party in that respect. On your other comment, this election isn't about winning seats necessarily, the WP has a lot of ground to catch up compared to its heyday (you'd know more about that than me probably?), so it's more about building the party and offering the alternative to those who are prepared to listen.

Griska
20-01-2011, 04:42 PM
Hi Griska, do you mean the ULA? I don't know to be honest. There's enough overlap on the ULA minimim programme to make that a possibility I would imagine. If there's a will there's a way. Not specific on the ULA question, but generally, the history in the 80s with the FF minority gov't shows that the WP has the political maturity to support a gov't arrangement, conditional on whatever programme is agreed. I don't think the WP is an oppositionist party in that respect. On your other comment, this election isn't about winning seats necessarily, the WP has a lot of ground to catch up compared to its heyday (you'd know more about that than me probably?), so it's more about building the party and offering the alternative to those who are prepared to listen.

You're absolutely right. This is a time for all parties of the left to assert themselves. When I was a member, we were lucky enough to have TDs in place, so had a platform to work from. Unfortunately, the type that came through were the ones that undid all the work (I never liked the term "Student Princes" as I felt it displayed a distrust of those who were lucky enough to get educated).

I am curious though, was there, to your knowledge any approach regarding alliance with ULA?

LeftAtTheCross
20-01-2011, 05:07 PM
You're absolutely right. This is a time for all parties of the left to assert themselves. When I was a member, we were lucky enough to have TDs in place, so had a platform to work from. Unfortunately, the type that came through were the ones that undid all the work (I never liked the term "Student Princes" as I felt it displayed a distrust of those who were lucky enough to get educated).


I'm also not fond of the "Student Princes" term, it is unduly workerist and dismissive of those within the broader working class.


I am curious though, was there, to your knowledge any approach regarding alliance with ULA?

That's not clear. I get the impression that if any contact was made it would have been after the initial agreement had been reached by the SP & SWP/PBPA, and at that stage it would have been a bit late in the day with the election looming to have any serious discussions. Which I think is fair enough. Obviously there would be some "synergies" at local level in combining efforts if such arrangements could be worked out, but being presented with a fait accompli and being asked to climb onboard is a different situation to engaging in discussion from the start. As it turns out, it looks like the WP and ULA will be running separate candidates in more than one constituency, which is not really what the Left needs to be doing at this stage. Still, early days, the revolution won't be won on March 11, long march ahead for all of us.

Griska
20-01-2011, 05:14 PM
Very true.

Good luck with the campaign.

Remember your hat and gloves!

antiestablishmentarian
20-01-2011, 05:19 PM
Best of luck to the WP in Meath. I don't think you'll win a seat there but it's good to have a party of the left putting it up to the IMF/ECB consensus parties up there.

LeftAtTheCross
20-01-2011, 06:33 PM
Thanks both for the best wishes.

If you have any comrades in the Royal county that would be able to support the campaign at all please do drop me a line, we'd be glad of all the support we can get. We have one local ULA/SWP guy who'll be chipping in, in the spirit of broad Left unity and all of that.

Jolly Red Giant
20-01-2011, 07:40 PM
but generally, the history in the 80s with the FF minority gov't shows that the WP has the political maturity to support a gov't arrangement, conditional on whatever programme is agreed. I don't think the WP is an oppositionist party in that respect.

In all honesty the decision by SFWP to back Haughey's government was not a sign of 'political maturity' - it was a sign of (to be blunt) political stupidity.

And maybe given this attitude it is better for the WP not to be involved in the ULA if they would be prepared to back another right-wing pro-cuts government. The ULA certainly won't be willing to compromise on that one just to get the WP onboard.

LeftAtTheCross
20-01-2011, 07:46 PM
In all honesty the decision by SFWP to back Haughey's government was not a sign of 'political maturity' - it was a sign of (to be blunt) political stupidity.

And maybe given this attitude it is better for the WP not to be involved in the ULA if they would be prepared to back another right-wing pro-cuts government. The ULA certainly won't be willing to compromise on that one just to get the WP onboard.

JRG comrade, please can we defer until after the election to resume the Left-sectarian in-fighting?

Jolly Red Giant
20-01-2011, 08:43 PM
JRG comrade, please can we defer until after the election to resume the Left-sectarian in-fighting?

With all due respect - this has absolutely nothing to do with 'left-sectarian in-fighting' and everything to do with the principled basis on which the left should stand candidates for elected positions. Serious debate is vital at this time, more than at any time since the early 1980's precisely because of the implications of adopting the wrong approach to addressing the programme of austerity from the government.

The ULA has stated the following -
Those elected as part of the alliance will not do any deals or support any coalition with any of the right wing parties particularly Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. We are committed to building a mass left alternative to unite working people, whether public or private sector, Irish or migrant, with the unemployed, welfare recipients, pensioners and students in the struggle to change society.

Your claim that in 1982 the SFWP support a minority Haughey (the 'we are living beyond our means Haughey) was a sign of 'political maturity' and demonstrated that SFWP then (and the WP now) are not an 'oppositionist party'.

The only extrapolation that can be drawn from this statement is that because the ULA will not enter any coalition or support arrangement for right-wing parties that the ULA is politically immature and oppositionist. This is an assessment that I catagorically reject.

I would argue that the decision of SFWP to support Haughey was a fundemental mistaken approach, driven more by a desire not to have to fight a third election in a year more than any real political motivation. I am speaking from some experience here as my first involvement with any political activity occurred during this period when I was close to the SFWP in Galway.

Both Haughey and Fitzgerald were intent on imposing austerity on working class people yet the justification by SFWP for supporting Haughey was on the basis that another general election 'would not be in the interests of the working class'. This was then and still is today, abject nonsense. What was not in the interests of the working class was allowing a gangster like Haughey back into government on the backs of left-wing support. It was laughable to see the three SFWP TD's having arrived late for the vote for Taoiseach, being locked out of the Dail Chamber and having to clamber over the seats from the public gallery down into the Dail chamber to make sure they could vote for Haughey.

There are a number of other things that are of interest from this period -

1. Kemmy and Gregory proposed forming a 'left-bloc' in the Dail. SFWP rejected this proposal and set about attacking both Gregory (for the Gregory deal) and Kemmy (for being a two-nationist) despite the fact that they too were supporting Haughey.

2. SFWP opposed Solidarity in Poland - claiming that any movement supported by Reagan and Thatcher must be counter-revolutionary and that it was comprised of 'Social Democrat, Fascist, Anarchist and Trotskyist' elements. The Ard Fheis supported the introduction of martial law in Poland with Garland declaring that it was necessary to stop Poland sliding into the 'hands of imperialism'. This should be contrasted with the position on the Iran-Iraq war where SFWP declared support for the 'radical and socialist Iraq'.

3. During the Dublin West by-election in May 1982, SFWP adopted the approach of pushing their 'democratic and liberal' policies in case the party would be seen as too 'workerist'. Yet when a campaign was set up to oppose the so-called 'pro-life' referendum SFWP refused to get involved in case it would impact on their electoral prospects (despite the fact that a leading member of SFWP chaired the anti-amendment group). John McManus (WP candidate in Wicklow before his wife was elected) declared that SFWP 'should steer clear of the rights and wrongs of abortion'.

4. Another fundemental issue for left organisations is the attitude to elected representatives. Despite arguments from the rank-and-file of the party for the elected TD's to contribute to the financial upkeep of the party, the leadership decided that the TD's could keep their entire salary and expenses.

As I have said - it is of absolute vital importance that activists on the left can have an open and frank debate about party positions and party policy without it being branded as 'sectarian'. There are going to be many more very frank and sharp debates over the coming period and left activists better get used to it. It is only by debating policy and political positions that the best strategy and tactics will be developed. The position adopted by SFWP in 1982 from their initial decision to back Haughey, through to their support for PRSI increases introduced in the budget for that year, to the watering down of public policy in the by-election, to refusing to actively support the anti-amendment campaign, to the failure to ensure that elected representatives did not make financial gain from their elected positions - all indicate not 'political maturity', but crass opportunism. This was my assessment in 1982 and it is still my assessment today.

Apjp
20-01-2011, 11:10 PM
In all honesty the decision by SFWP to back Haughey's government was not a sign of 'political maturity' - it was a sign of (to be blunt) political stupidity.

And maybe given this attitude it is better for the WP not to be involved in the ULA if they would be prepared to back another right-wing pro-cuts government. The ULA certainly won't be willing to compromise on that one just to get the WP onboard.

I certainly wouldnt be a member of the wp in that scenario. I think that was a different wp. You had gilmore, rabbitte etc all leading the charge there. ill disagree with LATC here. I think it was a very poor call-but that is history. This party is about the future and I believe it has far more potential than just supporting a minority centre govt. However on certain issues of legislation-ie abortion, finance bill amendments to bring the minimum wage back up and reversal of social austerity-it is important we do not oppose everything just on the basis of opposition. But I agree-these mistakes must not happen again if the party is lucky enough. Moreover I think a lot of number crunching must be done more consistently by all of us on the left. I see people in the communist party may not even stand. The ULA and ourselves have admirable policies but we need to communicate how we wish to implement them, if in 5-10 years or whenever, be it sooner than that or not, if we do have a chance to enter a left coalition. Personally I would start by getting marxist economists on board to draw out financial policies-but theres a lot more to policies than just the economy. This is just the main aspect as of now because of how things are.

LeftAtTheCross
21-01-2011, 11:31 AM
it is of absolute vital importance that activists on the left can have an open and frank debate about party positions and party policy...

JRG, leaving aside the history lesson, have you any comments on the compatability (or otherwise) or the WP's headline ten point programme with the one being proposed by the ULA?

Jolly Red Giant
21-01-2011, 04:41 PM
I certainly wouldnt be a member of the wp in that scenario.
Well LatC is using the support by SFWP for Haughey to claim that the current WP are 'politically mature' and would support a right-wing government in certain circumstances.


I think that was a different wp. You had gilmore, rabbitte etc all leading the charge there.
Not the case actually - the leadership in 1982 was MacGiolla, Goulding, Garland, Sherlock etc. The only one of the bunch that jumped to the LP in the leadership at the time was DeRossa.


I think it was a very poor call-but that is history. This party is about the future and I believe it has far more potential than just supporting a minority centre govt.
History has an awful habit of repeating itself - especially if you do not learn from the mistakes of history.


However on certain issues of legislation-ie abortion, finance bill amendments to bring the minimum wage back up and reversal of social austerity-it is important we do not oppose everything just on the basis of opposition.
No one said anything about not supporting reforms - every issue should be taken on its merit. Supporting a right-wing pro-austerity government is a completely different issue - that is what SFWP did in 1982 and LatC declares that it is an example of 'political maturity' - I disagree - in my opinion it is an example of political stupidity and crass opportunism - something that is destined to be repeated if the attitude of the WP is similar to that of LatC.


JRG, leaving aside the history lesson, have you any comments on the compatability (or otherwise) or the WP's headline ten point programme with the one being proposed by the ULA?
1. As I said above - learning the lessons of history is vital so that the mistakes of history are not repeated.
2. I have no problem with the WP's 10 point plan - it is just a more watered down version of the ULA programme. It does however miss one crucial point that is contained in the ULA programme - namely:
Those elected as part of the alliance will not do any deals or support any coalition with any of the right wing parties particularly Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

So the question I would pose to you is as follows -
Are the WP committed to not doing any deals with any right-wing parties and committed to not supporting coalition with any right-wing parties if they happen to get any representatives elected?

The WP should join the ULA and participate in the elections as part of the ULA. Clearly the WP are p*ssed at not being included in the initial negotiations and justify not joining as part of the ULA by stating that it is too close to an election to begin negotiations about joining. To be honest this would place far more weight on the importance of the WP in relation to the left than their strength and political influence warrants. Saying that I have a lot of respect for many in the WP and have worked closely with WP members in various campaigns over the years. I hope that WP candidates win significant votes where they are standing irrespective of the apparent current ambiguous position of supporting a right-wing government.

Citizens Defence
21-01-2011, 08:52 PM
Serious issues will emerge following this election, and in the years to come, if the revolutionary left (SP, SWP, WP are revolutionary, right?) do not develop an analysis of the electoral process and have clear objectives.

I have watched Joan Collins and Boyd Barrett recently on the frontline and on TV3 and they were absolutely terrible. And that is unfortunate to say that, for I helped Joan during the anti-bin tax campaign and I know what a good grassroots activist she is. But they are clearly out of their depth and the policies they are mouthing are transparently hollow.

Now either 1) the ULA are being disingenuous and purposefully spoofing to the electorate with hot air policies and attempting to present itself as an alternative policy wise - or 2) Those running as candidates are fooling themselves in a web of nonsensical and unworkable ideas.

Substantially increasing corporation tax, for example, will drive corporations from Ireland. Taxing the higher levels of wealth will not generate the revenue to solve Irelands economic woes. Maintaining the same wage rates will damage Irelands international competitiveness and SMEs. Maintaining the same levels of social welfare is not sustainable. "Democratically" (whatever that means) electing Bankers, or putting "workers in control of the banks" would neither prevent an economic crisis nor does it make a whole lot of sense. Etc Etc.

One can argue with that all they like - but there are substantial elements of truth to them. When FF, FG, LP et al argue as such - it is not because they are greedy capitalists, or whatever - it is because they are working within a particular economic reality - that is, that the market is a dictatorship and the economic sliders can only be adjusted within certain limits before the whole thing becomes unsustainable and erratic.

And in this sense, FG, FF and Labour DO offer a realistic alternative. Sure, it is more of the same and with some adjustments to the economic sliders.

But the problem is that the ULA present themselves as an alternative with "other" ways to adjust those capitalist economic sliders - except it is complete nonsense and unworkable.

And with this, let me say firstly, that they should stop presenting themselves - either through self delusion or by spoofing to the electorate - as having some sort of capitalist economic alternative (which it essentially is). Instead, and if the ULA are made up of revolutionaries and not spoofers trying to hudwink people for votes - outline the intentions - "we will use this platform to spread revolutionary politics - ie overthrow the state and the entire capitalist economic and social system - including the means of exchange - and that we genuinely dont have a workable capitalist alternative".

Secondly - if this line of thought is not heeded - those TDs elected will become frustrated with their positions in not being able to do something meaningful. De Rossa, Gilmore etc broke away from the WP because Marxism/Revolutionary politics conflicted with being in a position to be able to do something constructive within the economic realities of capitalism.

Spoofing through politics, particularly when one knows they are being untrutheful to themselves and the electorate, can only go so far before one says **** it - ill go my own way, break off and do what I can.

I feel the ULA candidates, in my view, have been embarrassing - to themselves and me, as a revolutionary socialist.

C. Flower
21-01-2011, 09:00 PM
Serious issues will emerge following this election, and in the years to come, if the revolutionary left (SP, SWP, WP are revolutionary, right?) do not develop an analysis of the electoral process and have clear objectives.

I have watched Joan Collins and Boyd Barrett recently on the frontline and on TV3 and they were absolutely terrible. And that is unfortunate to say that, for I helped Joan during the anti-bin tax campaign and I know what a good grassroots activist she is. But they are clearly out of their depth and the policies they are mouthing are transparently hollow.

Now either 1) the ULA are being disingenuous and purposefully spoofing to the electorate with hot air policies and attempting to present itself as an alternative policy wise - or 2) Those running as candidates are fooling themselves in a web of nonsensical and unworkable ideas.

Substantially increasing corporation tax, for example, will drive corporations from Ireland. Taxing the higher levels of wealth will not generate the revenue to solve Irelands economic woes. Maintaining the same wage rates will damage Irelands international competitiveness and SMEs. Maintaining the same levels of social welfare is not sustainable. "Democratically" (whatever that means) electing Bankers, or putting "workers in control of the banks" would neither prevent an economic crisis nor does it make a whole lot of sense. Etc Etc.

One can argue with that all they like - but there are substantial elements of truth to them. When FF, FG, LP et al argue as such - it is not because they are greedy capitalists, or whatever - it is because they are working within a particular economic reality - that is, that the market is a dictatorship and the economic sliders can only be adjusted within certain limits before the whole thing becomes unsustainable and erratic.

And in this sense, FG, FF and Labour DO offer a realistic alternative. Sure, it is more of the same and with some adjustments to the economic sliders.

But the problem is that the ULA present themselves as an alternative with "other" ways to adjust those capitalist economic sliders - except it is complete nonsense and unworkable.

And with this, let me say firstly, that they should stop presenting themselves - either through self delusion or by spoofing to the electorate - as having some sort of capitalist economic alternative (which it essentially is). Instead, and if the ULA are made up of revolutionaries and not spoofers trying to hudwink people for votes - outline the intentions - "we will use this platform to spread revolutionary politics - ie overthrow the state and the entire capitalist economic and social system - including the means of exchange - and that we genuinely dont have a workable capitalist alternative".

Secondly - if this line of thought is not heeded - those TDs elected will become frustrated with their positions in not being able to do something meaningful. De Rossa, Gilmore etc broke away from the WP because Marxism/Revolutionary politics conflicted with being in a position to be able to do something constructive within the economic realities of capitalism.

Spoofing through politics, particularly when one knows they are being untrutheful to themselves and the electorate, can only go so far before one says **** it - ill go my own way, break off and do what I can.

I feel the ULA candidates, in my view, have been embarrassing - to themselves and me, as a revolutionary socialist.

You're right and that's well said. You don't mention eírírgí, who do say that the system is in an unsolvable crisis and that social revolution is needed. But they are not standing in the election, which I feel is a mistake, as it will leave them marginalised from the intense political debate that will take place over the next 50 days.

moss
21-01-2011, 09:19 PM
Serious issues will emerge following this election, and in the years to come, if the revolutionary left (SP, SWP, WP are revolutionary, right?) do not develop an analysis of the electoral process and have clear objectives.

I have watched Joan Collins and Boyd Barrett recently on the frontline and on TV3 and they were absolutely terrible. And that is unfortunate to say that, for I helped Joan during the anti-bin tax campaign and I know what a good grassroots activist she is. But they are clearly out of their depth and the policies they are mouthing are transparently hollow.

Now either 1) the ULA are being disingenuous and purposefully spoofing to the electorate with hot air policies and attempting to present itself as an alternative policy wise - or 2) Those running as candidates are fooling themselves in a web of nonsensical and unworkable ideas.

Substantially increasing corporation tax, for example, will drive corporations from Ireland. Taxing the higher levels of wealth will not generate the revenue to solve Irelands economic woes. Maintaining the same wage rates will damage Irelands international competitiveness and SMEs. Maintaining the same levels of social welfare is not sustainable. "Democratically" (whatever that means) electing Bankers, or putting "workers in control of the banks" would neither prevent an economic crisis nor does it make a whole lot of sense. Etc Etc.

One can argue with that all they like - but there are substantial elements of truth to them. When FF, FG, LP et al argue as such - it is not because they are greedy capitalists, or whatever - it is because they are working within a particular economic reality - that is, that the market is a dictatorship and the economic sliders can only be adjusted within certain limits before the whole thing becomes unsustainable and erratic.

And in this sense, FG, FF and Labour DO offer a realistic alternative. Sure, it is more of the same and with some adjustments to the economic sliders.

But the problem is that the ULA present themselves as an alternative with "other" ways to adjust those capitalist economic sliders - except it is complete nonsense and unworkable.

And with this, let me say firstly, that they should stop presenting themselves - either through self delusion or by spoofing to the electorate - as having some sort of capitalist economic alternative (which it essentially is). Instead, and if the ULA are made up of revolutionaries and not spoofers trying to hudwink people for votes - outline the intentions - "we will use this platform to spread revolutionary politics - ie overthrow the state and the entire capitalist economic and social system - including the means of exchange - and that we genuinely dont have a workable capitalist alternative".

Secondly - if this line of thought is not heeded - those TDs elected will become frustrated with their positions in not being able to do something meaningful. De Rossa, Gilmore etc broke away from the WP because Marxism/Revolutionary politics conflicted with being in a position to be able to do something constructive within the economic realities of capitalism.

Spoofing through politics, particularly when one knows they are being untrutheful to themselves and the electorate, can only go so far before one says **** it - ill go my own way, break off and do what I can.

I feel the ULA candidates, in my view, have been embarrassing - to themselves and me, as a revolutionary socialist.

Good post, though I think you're arguing against electoralism, which is a principled position, rather than the policies of the ULA

http://www.wsm.ie/c/anarchism-elections-your-questions-answered

Still, a choice between FF,FG or Lab or the ULA. Give me the ULA any day.

There are major difference in approach by both sides albeit working within the present system.

Citizens Defence
21-01-2011, 09:38 PM
Good post, though I think you're arguing against electoralism, which is a principled position, rather than the policies of the ULA

http://www.wsm.ie/c/anarchism-elections-your-questions-answered

Still, a choice between FF,FG or Lab or the ULA. Give me the ULA any day.

There are major difference in approach by both sides albeit working within the present system.

No I am not arguing against electoralism (though I am pretty much against it).

I am saying that the ULA are being disingenuous. They should be truthful and have realistic policies and objectives if they are to take elected positions - not, as I see it, spoof and present themselves as having some alternative capitalist arrangement.

And of course, I would vote ULA too if they were in my constituency. But that avoids the point I think.

LeftAtTheCross
21-01-2011, 10:21 PM
Are the WP committed to not doing any deals with any right-wing parties and committed to not supporting coalition with any right-wing parties if they happen to get any representatives elected?

Does the WP ten point programme look to you like something FF / FG would agree to? (That's a rhetorical question.)


The WP should join the ULA and participate in the elections as part of the ULA. Clearly the WP are p*ssed at not being included in the initial negotiations and justify not joining as part of the ULA by stating that it is too close to an election to begin negotiations about joining.

Em, possibly there's just a bit more to it than that, but thanks for the simplistic and emotional analysis.


To be honest this would place far more weight on the importance of the WP in relation to the left than their strength and political influence warrants. Saying that I have a lot of respect for many in the WP and have worked closely with WP members in various campaigns over the years. I hope that WP candidates win significant votes where they are standing irrespective of the apparent current ambiguous position of supporting a right-wing government.

Thanks for the qualified support JRG.

moss
21-01-2011, 10:26 PM
Does the WP ten point programme look to you like something FF / FG would agree to? (That's a rhetorical question.)


Ah right, so your stance is that neither FF or FG would touch the WP with a barge poll, rather than the WP ruling out going into coalition with them.

Principled stance there. :rolleyes:

Apjp
21-01-2011, 11:55 PM
Well LatC is using the support by SFWP for Haughey to claim that the current WP are 'politically mature' and would support a right-wing government in certain circumstances.


Not the case actually - the leadership in 1982 was MacGiolla, Goulding, Garland, Sherlock etc. The only one of the bunch that jumped to the LP in the leadership at the time was DeRossa.


History has an awful habit of repeating itself - especially if you do not learn from the mistakes of history.


No one said anything about not supporting reforms - every issue should be taken on its merit. Supporting a right-wing pro-austerity government is a completely different issue - that is what SFWP did in 1982 and LatC declares that it is an example of 'political maturity' - I disagree - in my opinion it is an example of political stupidity and crass opportunism - something that is destined to be repeated if the attitude of the WP is similar to that of LatC.


1. As I said above - learning the lessons of history is vital so that the mistakes of history are not repeated.
2. I have no problem with the WP's 10 point plan - it is just a more watered down version of the ULA programme. It does however miss one crucial point that is contained in the ULA programme - namely:
Those elected as part of the alliance will not do any deals or support any coalition with any of the right wing parties particularly Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

So the question I would pose to you is as follows -
Are the WP committed to not doing any deals with any right-wing parties and committed to not supporting coalition with any right-wing parties if they happen to get any representatives elected?

The WP should join the ULA and participate in the elections as part of the ULA. Clearly the WP are p*ssed at not being included in the initial negotiations and justify not joining as part of the ULA by stating that it is too close to an election to begin negotiations about joining. To be honest this would place far more weight on the importance of the WP in relation to the left than their strength and political influence warrants. Saying that I have a lot of respect for many in the WP and have worked closely with WP members in various campaigns over the years. I hope that WP candidates win significant votes where they are standing irrespective of the apparent current ambiguous position of supporting a right-wing government.

There is no ambiguity. Dont ye think I asked these things when I joined??? LATC said something incorrect and yes he should be corrected on it, but dont labour the point. In any case we have a lot of work to do to convince the people left parties are credible. Personally I think both parties need marxist economists, students, civil servants, and ordinary workers all engaging with various policy construction. I know the party is a long way from being everything I believe in, but i share more with it than i disagree with it on. Yes ourselves and yourselves need to be more number specific too in my view and we do this by submitting real budget alternatives, fully costed and approved by TASC, the ERSI and the Dept. of finance. Thats what I want from all of us-an end to promises without explanations and an end to the same old pallavor. I want us to say how we will obtain what we need and want to do. 19 billion is a lot. If you cant explain where you will get it, and how soon then you are not credible in this day of all days. Every left party needs to be more number specific to avoid media bandwagoning of the loony left and so people understand what we believe in is possible. Never mind the auld ***** about who said what about auld man gombin 25 years ago. stop talking and start doing. I will be on the streets of navan tomorrow doing so.

Apjp
22-01-2011, 12:10 AM
You're right and that's well said. You don't mention eírírgí, who do say that the system is in an unsolvable crisis and that social revolution is needed. But they are not standing in the election, which I feel is a mistake, as it will leave them marginalised from the intense political debate that will take place over the next 50 days.

I agree with citizens defence. SF are leaning left and they have a fully costed budget plan of 4.7 bn e. smaller parties may lack resources and info but surely we can do SOME number crunching?? we on the left need to cnstruct all our policies in detail and cost them.

Fraxinus
22-01-2011, 12:26 AM
I agree with citizens defence. SF are leaning left and they have a fully costed budget plan of 4.7 bn e. smaller parties may lack resources and info but surely we can do SOME number crunching?? we on the left need to cnstruct all our policies in detail and cost them.

Yes but aren't the ULA against SF's budget because it does involve some cuts.

Sam Lord
22-01-2011, 12:43 AM
Spoofing through politics, particularly when one knows they are being untrutheful to themselves and the electorate, can only go so far before one says **** it - ill go my own way, break off and do what I can.

I feel the ULA candidates, in my view, have been embarrassing - to themselves and me, as a revolutionary socialist.

Good post. I'm with you 100% on the spoofing.

At the same time I'm wondering (just wondering I stresss) if there are no coherent policies somewhere between spoofing and simply using the election as a platform to advocate revolution and socialism that would benefit the country in the near term future, shelter the people a bit from the storms that lie ahead, and help promote radical consciousness at the same time?

Apjp
22-01-2011, 01:30 AM
Yes but aren't the ULA against SF's budget because it does involve some cuts.

I dont think they are against most of it. It doesnt cut the vulnerable or lower earners. In my view its a fully credible left alternative budget-but I didnt join SF for the fact Im not pro nationalist and Im not in the habit of being disowned by me long was(until da charley and da bert) FF granda!!! I mean 20'000 public servants earn over 100'000 thats at least 2 billion! Its more. I would have a public sector wage cap of 80000. SF are good but they dont go far enough. Still ye see what I mean-they will get votes for their economic analysis. the rest of us need to apply some more in depth ones than just what we believe in. we need marxist economists on board the left parties. The only partial-and it is partial-defense the left has is that it cannot gain access to state figures in great detail outside the dail. But this is not totally true. Yes dail parties get that info first and in more detail, but the info that comes out should be enough to form pre budget submissions with detailed economic forecasts, a jobs strategy and budgetary measures.

Personally I would do the following:
I think its possible to get several billion in cuts and taxes in one budget without hitting the poor by a maximum wage through the 80000 cap which will save at least 400 million euro(20000 by 80000e). this could reduce the need for redundancies voluntarily, maybe even at all if long term costs are considered.

-close 2.5 billion of the 3.5 billion pension reliefs(2.9bn e). spend the extra billion on low earning private and public sector workers.

-introduce a tax exile tax for all business men who relocate their taxes. It would be simple. you tell the state ye want out-ye pay us ten grand. and ye pay a 30 euro travel tax everytime ye come home and leave ireland. It would prob only raise a few hundred thousand, or a million or two a year, but it would solve a big problem of people like bono getting away with murder altogether.
(2.5901-2 bn e)

-cut all travel expenses for TDs and high ranking civil servants. James reilly took 32k in travel expenses last eyar and he lives in RUSH!!!! theres a train station there and believe me the ticket does not cost 1800euros a month!!!! its 73! if a student on a grant like me can afford it so can a TD. Tds to earn 36k after tax. No more meetings in farmleigh house either. sell all mercs, even the presidents. that would save a few million. 25 million would be saved from every cost associated with the seanad. have just 129 seats(3 a constituency). I'd estimate this would all get at least 35, maybe 40 million in savings.(2.5942 bn e). symbolic and helpful.

-texting tax of 1 cent. it should raise about 35-60 billion based on ersi projections.(2.602 bn e)

-higher Income tax rate of 51.5% there is four billion euros worth of income tax to be tapped into from all households earning 80k plus. 48% would raise 1-2 billion euro in a year. I see this tax as raising 2-3 billion in 12-18 months. It works in denmark, iceland and otehr small countries. it'd work here.(4.602 bn e-5 bn e)

-Income determined Corporation tax hike to 15% for businesses earning over 1 million e. 14% For all below that until 500k. 13% for all below that. new irish businesses will get a boost from this. Even though these rates are all higher than the present one, this stop gap streamlining allows for taking more taxes in without putting the rate too high so as to attack competivity. Iceland's rate is 18%. the IMF will tell them to hike that. Denmarks is 25% but they are closer to the eu. my own viewpoint is that if we go above 15% we will lose too many jobs, taxes and people. but corporation tax was 700 million euro more than expected last year. So I expect this measure to raise about 2 billion euro. then with the closing of googles and others tax loopholes(double irish) we can save millions more.(7-7.25 bn.e). For the left of ye, I tell ye now that although this rate must be raised it cannot be raised beyond 15%. The ula proposed an initial rise to 15%. Im telling ye we cannot put it any higher.

-the ending of the usage of checks and the replacement of them by electronic payments implementation that national irish bank proposed(owned by the danes btw). this will save 1 billion e over 5 years in expenditure. (7.3 bn e-7. 45 bn e) maybe even more as we own the banks.

These are just some of what I feel is possible. As ye can see, the deficit of our sovereign can be cut far further than SF or FF want to with their opposing plans. I have many more ideas and id like a taxation alternatives/cuts alternatives thread where these measures can be discussed. Hopefully 1 of ye can start it for me as i cant.

LeftAtTheCross
22-01-2011, 09:38 AM
Ah right, so your stance is that neither FF or FG would touch the WP with a barge poll, rather than the WP ruling out going into coalition with them.

Principled stance there. :rolleyes:

If you're intent to misconstrue what I was saying then fire ahead.

But to remove ambiguity, my understanding is that the WP has no intention of propping up a FF/FG gov't, and the point I was making was that I believe the WP would consider forming an alternative Left gov't of LP/SF which aligned on policy with the ten point programme at the top of this thread. I'm not saying that's the stated party position, just my interpretation.

As I understand it, that would be a different stance to that of the ULA who are using the barge-pole line at the moment.

Personally I'd like to see the numbers stack up so that we had a LP/SF/ULA/WP gov't with a socialist programme, rather than any on the Left wasting time propping up FF/FG.

Is that clear enough for you?

LeftAtTheCross
22-01-2011, 10:47 AM
At the same time I'm wondering (just wondering I stresss) if there are no coherent policies somewhere between spoofing and simply using the election as a platform to advocate revolution and socialism that would benefit the country in the near term future, shelter the people a bit from the storms that lie ahead, and help promote radical consciousness at the same time?

Sam, I know you're no friend of the WP, but leaving that on the shelf for a second, the intention of the 10 point programme is exactly what you are wondering about. Have you other suggestions that could be added to the mix? The CP's campaign "Repudiate the Debt" is also I think in the right general direction.

Jolly Red Giant
22-01-2011, 01:33 PM
Finally this is begining to turn into a decent debate about the political positions of the various organisations on the left.


Does the WP ten point programme look to you like something FF / FG would agree to? (That's a rhetorical question.)

The ten point programme is very similar to what was agreed with Haughey in 1982 - easy for Haughey and stupid from the perspective of SFWP.

Any left party has to be clear and unambiguous on this issue. You and the WP appear to fudge the issue.


There is no ambiguity.
With all due respect there is - and it is repeated below.


I agree with citizens defence. SF are leaning left and they have a fully costed budget plan of 4.7 bn e. smaller parties may lack resources and info but surely we can do SOME number crunching?? we on the left need to cnstruct all our policies in detail and cost them.
The numbers have already been crunched - they are on the TASC website. Number crunching is not the issue - implementation is (and I will deal with that below).



But to remove ambiguity, my understanding is that the WP has no intention of propping up a FF/FG gov't,
But again this is ambiguous - my understanding is that the WP has no intention of propping up a FF/FG gov't - what this actually means is that your understanding is that the WP has no intention at the moment, but after the election circumstances can change.



and the point I was making was that I believe the WP would consider forming an alternative Left gov't of LP/SF which aligned on policy with the ten point programme at the top of this thread. I'm not saying that's the stated party position, just my interpretation.
And this is the crux of the matter - any government involving the LP and SF would not be left leaning - neither are left wing parties. The LP is a right-wing neo-liberal pro-cuts, pro-austerity party. SF are a populist nationalist party that use left rhetoric. Such a government would be just as much a disaster for the working class of this country as a FG/LP coalition. Just look at the measures that SF are introducing with the DUP in the North (and the 'tax-raising powers' stuff is nonsense). One issue for example - the Croke Park deal - the LP support it and, to the best of my knowledge, SF are at least ambiguous about it. As I have stated on a different thread - there may be some argument (and it would require significant debate) for vote for Gilmore to lead a LP/SF coalition - but in no circumstances should the left agree to coalesce with LP/SF, should vote on every measure they would propose on merit and have no qualms about bringing down such a government.



Is that clear enough for you?
What would be clear enough is this - a clear and unambiguous statement for the WP that if they get any candidate elected (a long-shot by any stretch of the imagination) they will not support, prop-up, vote for a right-wing pro-austerity government.


Yes but aren't the ULA against SF's budget because it does involve some cuts.
Finally on this issue. The criticism of the SF budget proposals are that they do not go far enough - no proposed increase in corpo tax for example (and they want to reduce it in the North).

However, the key issue in relation to SF's proposals (and this comes back to the points made by Apjp above) is not the detail, it has nothing to do with having marxist economists etc. If a 'left' government was elected it would immediately be faced with a strike of capital as the ruling class would attempt to starve the economy of money thereby wrecking the economy and in the process, wrecking the left government (e.g. what happened in France when Mitterrand was first elected). The left would be faced with a choice of caving in (as Mitterrand did) or adopting measures to counter-act the strike of capital. There is nothing in the SF proposals to address this issue. Now this is not an economic issue it is a political issue and one SF do not know how to address because they are not a left-wing party. The inevitable consequence of a LP/SF government if it did attempt to introduce left measures (which it wouldn't) would be complete cave-in to capital.

The fact that LatC argues for a LP/SF/ULA/WP coalition government demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about the nature of capitalism, the nature of the class system and the requirements for what is necessary for the protection of the interests of the working class. For a party and for a political activist whom, I suspect, would consider themselves on the far/revolutionary left, this is a major flaw in the argument being demonstrated here about the potential of either the LP or SF to play any left role in the political arena.

Sam Lord
22-01-2011, 02:55 PM
Sam, I know you're no friend of the WP, but leaving that on the shelf for a second, the intention of the 10 point programme is exactly what you are wondering about.


I don't think it is really what I had in mind. It contains illusions if I recall correctly.



Have you other suggestions that could be added to the mix? The CP's campaign "Repudiate the Debt" is also I think in the right general direction.

Found it. Thanks very much.

http://21stcenturymanifesto.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/repudiate-the-debt-2/

Yes, I think this is the right direction. Why is no one else talking about default?

Also glad to see them raising the EU. But I am not sure what repatriate fiscal powers means ... well I know what it means but I am unsure of the technicalities of what they are suggesting. Is this a position of withdrawing from the Euro?

Why is no one else talking about the EU?

C. Flower
22-01-2011, 03:14 PM
[quote=LeftAtTheCross;111950]

Does the Workers Party present an analysis of the political and economic situation or provide a costed budget ?

How long did it take to come up with the Programme ? There would be more detail and more specifics in any thread on this forum.

The 10 points raise more questions than they provide answers.



The Workers' Party is placing economic issues at the heart of its general election campaign.

Workers' Party Ten Point Programme:

1. A complete change in the political system which has allowed corruption, cronyism and economic ruin to flourish.


A complete change into what new system ?



2. A commitment to revisit the IMF / EU deal which has no democratic mandate.


What does "revisit" mean ? Would the WP support a continued IMF agreement of some kind, if so, what which aspects of the agreement do you find acceptable and which not ?



3. A commitment to bring back into the public exchequer the billions which bankers and developers immorally accumulated.


Much of this wealth was notional and no longer exists. Much of it is dispersed around the globe. How do you propose to get it back ?



4. A commitment to hold a referendum on the banks.


What would the wording and purpose of the referendum be ?



5. A taxation system which ensures that billionaire tax exiles pay up and that those who can afford the most pay the most.


How do you propose to tax people who aren't resident in Ireland ?



6. A commitment to introduce a stimulus package which grows the economy, creates jobs and badly needed public infrastructure and generates tax revenues.


How much would this be, and from where would you get the cash ?



7. The development of our vast oil and gas resources in the national interest and not private profit.


Does this mean nationalisation? Where would the cash come from to carry out exploration and development ?



8. The revamping of our state and semi-state companies under democratic control and accountability, as the engine of economic growth and recovery.


What do you mean by "revamping". You intend to retain the quangos ?



9. A commitment to reverse the cuts introduced in Budget 2010 to protect those on social welfare, the minimum wage, the working poor, the elderly and those on pensions.


Do you have figures for this budget, and from where would the cash come to fund it ?



10. The introduction of a wealth tax, a levy on banks and use of the National Pension Reserve Fund to fund a National Economic Recovery Programme.

There will be very likely little of value left in the NPRF by the time the next Government takes over and the banks are bankrupt - any levy would be passed straight to customers.
What are your figures on the Wealth Tax - how much and what revenue do you estimate would be gathered?

http://www.workerspartyireland.net/id561.html

I'm sorry, but it just reads like a few "left words" thrown together on the back of an envelope. What it leaves unsaid is far more telling than what it says. It says nothing about how a working banking system can be maintained or about personal debt and housing, with a massive mortgage and vacancy crisis already with us.

There is nothing that conveys the seriousness of the situation and the certainty that living standards will fall. It doesn't say that the present system is unworkable - it seems to me to be very close to what the Labour Party says, so there is a certain logic in the SP being wary of any arrangement with the WP - woolly though they are themselves, as the SP oppose coalition with Labour.

I'm in favour of the left demanding that Labour breaks from FG and forms a left/left republican coalition government on a radical programme of nationalisation to protect the working and middle classes from the worst impacts of the crisis.

- but only if a clear warning is given that Labour is spreading illusions that the present system can be fixed and has no real answers.

C. Flower
22-01-2011, 03:51 PM
I don't think it is really what I had in mind. It contains illusions if I recall correctly.

Found it. Thanks very much
http://21stcenturymanifesto.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/repudiate-the-debt-2/

Yes, I think this is the right direction. Why is no one else talking about default?

Also glad to see them raising the EU. But I am not sure what repatriate fiscal powers means ... well I know what it means but I am unsure of the technicalities of what they are suggesting. Is this a position of withdrawing from the Euro?

Why is no one else talking about the EU?

That's a good question. The most urgent thing politically appears to be to bringing together workers and students across the EU - and North Africa ;)

Try as I might, I've not been able to find the reference to "repatriating fiscal powers" - would you be able to tell me where that is ?

LeftAtTheCross
22-01-2011, 05:55 PM
That's a good question. The most urgent thing politically appears to be to bringing together workers and students across the EU - and North Africa ;)

WTF??

What planet are you living on?

Just spent the day canvassing in Navan with the WP candidate and what do you reckon, not a single one of the people we talked to raised that as an urgent political necessity. Nope, not one. Amazing isn't it. They were more concerned with mundane matters like the disaster that is the health system, provision of care for the elderly and kids with special needs, unemployment, cuts to their income, whether that's due to cuts in social welfare benefits or due to wage cuts and increased taxes/charges, negative equity and mortgage debt, being able to meet their ESB and Bord Gais bills. Absolutely f***ing amazing that not one of them gave a **** about uniting students and workers across the EU and North Africa.

Guess you have a job there to win people over to that one guys.

Feel free to offer ultra-left criticism of the WP across the board of course. You might not like what you perceive as lack of ideological purity, but you miss the point that the task at hand is not to specify the detail of this or that policy, it is more politically useful to push the discontent in society Leftwards in preparation for further bigger future steps. In that respect the ULA's programmatic woolliness is not a bad thing in my opinion. Small steps, increasing with time and success. If you want to debate the fine points of reform-vs-revolution you'd be better engaging with the Sparts (http://www.bolshevik.org/).

By the way, I'm not disagreeing about it being important to unite the struggle internationally, I' saying it's not the most urgent step. Important and urgent, not the same thing.

Citizens Defence
22-01-2011, 06:45 PM
Feel free to offer ultra-left criticism of the WP across the board of course. You might not like what you perceive as lack of ideological purity, but you miss the point that the task at hand is not to specify the detail of this or that policy, it is more politically useful to push the discontent in society Leftwards in preparation for further bigger future steps. In that respect the ULA's programmatic woolliness is not a bad thing in my opinion. Small steps, increasing with time and success. If you want to debate the fine points of reform-vs-revolution you'd be better engaging with the Sparts.

It is not a lack of ideological purity that is the problem, it is a lack of policies that actually make sense. Or should the radical left be content with putting forth hollow hot air policies that the right can pick to death with ease? The reason why the likes of Joan and Barret come across as spoofers is because the policies (or at least those they verbally pose) are just that - spoof.

Is it no wonder we are called the loony left. If they dont have solutions or policies in relation to something then they should not pretend that they do.

The radical left have the upper hand - at least in my view - because we have a correct and rigorous analysis of capitalism. We should use this rationality and scientific approach to communicate our agenda and construct policies.

CF has rightly probed the WP programme. Where is the flesh.

Citizens Defence
22-01-2011, 06:57 PM
Good post. I'm with you 100% on the spoofing.

At the same time I'm wondering (just wondering I stresss) if there are no coherent policies somewhere between spoofing and simply using the election as a platform to advocate revolution and socialism that would benefit the country in the near term future, shelter the people a bit from the storms that lie ahead, and help promote radical consciousness at the same time?

Its a bit of a tight rope really - but one the ULA, and it seems the WP, have fallen off on the side of spoof.

The problem is how it is presented - as an alternative way of running capitalism. If there is this or that thing to protect, such as social welfare or wage rates - it should not be on the basis of saying that such measures are part of some all encompassing alternative capitalist model (ie. "we have the right balance with the economic sliders")- which the ULA appear to be pushing. But rather on the basis that capitalism is incapable of progressing or maintaining living standards, or that it is morally the correct position to take. Doing so is truthful, and policies and proposals should be based upon truth and not hot air.

Sam Lord
22-01-2011, 07:08 PM
That's a good question. The most urgent thing politically appears to be to bringing together workers and students across the EU - and North Africa ;)


It was actually more Ireland's departure from the EU that I had in mind.




Try as I might, I've not been able to find the reference to "repatriating fiscal powers" - would you be able to tell me where that is ?


Sorry Cactus, I should have included the link:

http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/qa.html

C. Flower
22-01-2011, 07:38 PM
[QUOTE=LeftAtTheCross;113101]WTF??

What planet are you living on?


The third rock past the sun.


Just spent the day canvassing in Navan with the WP candidate and what do you reckon, not a single one of the people we talked to raised that as an urgent political necessity. Nope, not one. Amazing isn't it. They were more concerned with mundane matters like the disaster that is the health system, provision of care for the elderly and kids with special needs, unemployment, cuts to their income, whether that's due to cuts in social welfare benefits or due to wage cuts and increased taxes/charges, negative equity and mortgage debt, being able to meet their ESB and Bord Gais bills.

Most of those things aren't mentioned in the WP programme. It would be much stronger if you included them.



Absolutely f***ing amazing that not one of them gave a **** about uniting students and workers across the EU and North Africa.


Did they say that? I constantly hear people say "we should be more like the Greeks" and, last week, mention the Tunisians. But that isn't the point. The point is that a socialist programme - or even the WP programme - could not be implemented and maintained more than a very short period without widespread support - and probably not without parallel gains - from other EU states. Given that there are countries around the EU periphery more politically advanced in terms of opposition to the EU/IMF agenda than Ireland has been so far, this should be entirely achievable. A EU day of Trade Union action called for last September was carefully sidelined and suppressed by the ICTU leadership, but was well supported elsewhere.



Guess you have a job there to win people over to that one guys.


The entire WP Programme is about parliamentary actions, but people are at this stage deeply sceptical about the Daíl. Does the programme not run the danger of putting it back into peoples' heads that everything can be solved by voting and that there is no place for mass political action ?

Should the Programme not warn that there are limits to what can be achieved in the Daíl ?



Feel free to offer ultra-left criticism of the WP across the board of course. You might not like what you perceive as lack of ideological purity, but you miss the point that the task at hand is not to specify the detail of this or that policy, it is more politically useful to push the discontent in society Leftwards in preparation for further bigger future steps.


The WP's programme is imo impractical, sketchy, uncosted and misleading.
The discontent in society is being pushed by the factors that you described encountering on the canvass - loss of income, debt, unemployment, cuts, emigration. What's needed is a thoroughly prepared programme that puts forward short term emergency measures to secure that the population will have food, education, health services and housing, in the event of (the inevitable) default as well as a medium and long term socialist programme for Ireland.
Clearly, this isn't going to be on a one page election leaflet - but if the work was done, the leaflet would write itself.



In that respect the ULA's programmatic woolliness is not a bad thing in my opinion. Small steps, increasing with time and success. If you want to debate the fine points of reform-vs-revolution you'd be better engaging with the Sparts (http://www.bolshevik.org/).


They aren't small steps, they are big steps - it would be a big shift to tax wealth heavily and to default on billions of debt.

The problem is that they are framed in the programme as though they could be voted through the Daíl with no repercussions.

This is a failure to recognise what can be done by reform and what by revolution, so if you think the Sparts can help you on this, good luck.



By the way, I'm not disagreeing about it being important to unite the struggle internationally, I' saying it's not the most urgent step. Important and urgent, not the same thing.


"Unite the struggle internationally" is to me a form of words unless you are looking at forging workable organisational links across borders.

Sam Lord
22-01-2011, 09:53 PM
They aren't small steps, they are big steps - it would be a big shift to tax wealth heavily and to default on billions of debt.



There is no mention of default in the Workers Party 10 point program.

C. Flower
22-01-2011, 11:10 PM
There is no mention of default in the Workers Party 10 point program.

You're right. I was carried away by LeftattheCross's approval of the Repudiate the Debt document. There's nothing in the programme that would ruffle any feathers.

Is the WP aligned with the ICTU leadership ?

The WP programme looks like a good match with Labour Party policy.

The WP obviously has a good number of members who are knowledgeable politically and who have a lot of experience. It is hard to understand how such a sketchy and unfinished-looking document could be produced, but I think it is signficant.

Ireland is in for one almighty economic shock, that is only just beginning. People are moving left and it is inevitable that there will be organisations that endeavour to block that process or to lead people down demoralising cul de sacs.

It's very clear from Barosso's reaction to Higgins that the battle lines are in place - default would not buy time, it would plunge us into that battle. It should not be done without contingency plans in place and a preparedness of the people here to take on serious aggression and hostile measures, as least as severe as those used against Iceland by Britain.

moss
25-01-2011, 06:42 PM
If you're intent to misconstrue what I was saying then fire ahead.

But to remove ambiguity, my understanding is that the WP has no intention of propping up a FF/FG gov't, and the point I was making was that I believe the WP would consider forming an alternative Left gov't of LP/SF which aligned on policy with the ten point programme at the top of this thread. I'm not saying that's the stated party position, just my interpretation.

As I understand it, that would be a different stance to that of the ULA who are using the barge-pole line at the moment.

Personally I'd like to see the numbers stack up so that we had a LP/SF/ULA/WP gov't with a socialist programme, rather than any on the Left wasting time propping up FF/FG.

Is that clear enough for you?

So you're stating the WP are not ruling out propping up a FF or FG govt.

Perfectly clear, cheers.

LeftAtTheCross
25-01-2011, 09:33 PM
So you're stating the WP are not ruling out propping up a FF or FG govt.

Perfectly clear, cheers.

I haven't seen any official press release stating that the WP has ruled anything out, but given that the WP stands for a revolutionary transformation of society and the economy, and that the ten point programme spells out an immediate set of measures which the WP believes will move the situation in that direction, and that it is highly unlikely that even the LP or SF would agree to that programme, let alone either FF or FG, then really your question is akin to trolling at this stage.

The only possible government which the WP would support, in my opinion, is a broad Left government which agreed a programme with substantial commitment to the ten points originally highlighted.

If that's not clear enough for you then I'm not sure what else I can add.

If you don't like it then fair enough, but you're not being reasonable in saying that the answer isn't clear.

moss
25-01-2011, 09:36 PM
Being mischevious will get you nowhere.

How about this then?

Question: Will the WP prop up a FF or FG gov't?

Answer: No.

Clear enough?

Trying to get a straight answer.
Being evasive will make you look like a liar.

Seems strange it took you 5 days to answer a simple question.

So is this a personal opinion again, or party policy ?

LeftAtTheCross
25-01-2011, 09:47 PM
Trying to get a straight answer.
Being evasive will make you look like a liar.

Ok, that's a fair point, I wasn't attempting to evade.


Seems strange it took you 5 days to answer a simple question.

I have a life. I was cavvassing at the weekend and have a wife & three young kids. I have a job. I was busy.


So is this a personal opinion again, or party policy?

I'm not on the WP executive so it's personal opinion, or more appropriately the communal opinion within the WP circles in which I move.

BTW, I edited the reply from a straight "no" as you'll have seen, as I wan't happy with the simplicity of the answer.

No doubt you'll throw that up at me again but the intention was to elaborate.

Apjp
25-01-2011, 10:49 PM
Moss the wp defo isnt fine gael and it certainly isnt fianna fail. fianna fail people arent evn ff these days!!! In the event of us returning seats we would be in opposition, most likely with SF and left independents and the ULA all with around 40 odd seats between them and ourselves. From my own perception, The hope is to mobilize now, maybe win a seat or two, improve and spread in the locals in 3 years and then win more seats in the following general election. Those are pretty simple electoral aims. we arent stupid-we are against FF and FG. That was my first question to the party when i joined last october and it was a rhetorical one. As for our aims in meath west, tbh we dont expect to return a seat, but if we can get a good number of votes to build on for 2014 and 2016 that would be great. However, with such positive responses as we have had since saturday maybe our candidate should consider keeping himself free in march just in case :)