Jul 02 2020

THE CRISIS OF THE LABOUR PARTY

Steve Freeman takes a different view if  the crisis in the British Labour Party from the views taken  by the British Left. Steve relates the crisis in the Labour Party to the ongoing collapse of the post-1945  UK’s social monarchist welfare state. 

 

THE CRISIS IN THE LABOUR PARTY

              

I want to begin with a nursery rhyme which sums up the character of the present political stage we are living through.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again

This is in original a civil war story about the royalist army having a very big cannon – called Humpty Dumpty – sitting on a wall before being knocked out by the parliamentary forces, such that all the kings horses etc. couldn’t fix it.

.I am going to discuss the Report of Labour Together – the 2019 Election Review’(RLT). We are discussing the situation before Covid 19 or Black Lives Matter. These are the immediate issues that are at the front of our minds today. Why go back over the ‘ancient’ history of a Labour defeat best forgotten? The answer is we can learn a considerable amount about the state of peoples’ views or political consciousness, as expressed through England’s two-party system, and revealed in their voting behaviour in December 2019. This ‘moment’ was a mass event with millions of participants and therefore worthy of critical analysis. Continue reading “THE CRISIS OF THE LABOUR PARTY”

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Jul 02 2020

STORMONT PUSHES BACK AGAINST ABORTION REGULATIONS

This article, first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland), examines a socially reactionary role of Stormont  over women’s abortion rights. 

STORMONT PUSHES BACK AGAINST ABORTION REGULATIONS

 

On the 2nd June  Stormont Assembly passed a DUP motion calling for the rejection of abortion law enacted at Westminster. A Sinn Fein amendment which solely dealt with abortions in cases of severe disability was defeated. While the vote has no effect on the laws the DUP claimed that it would send a message to Westminster that the regulations are not supported by Stormont. Continue reading “STORMONT PUSHES BACK AGAINST ABORTION REGULATIONS”

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Jun 16 2020

THE GEORGE FLOYD DEMONSTRATIONS IN IRELAND

These two articles from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) look at the response in Ireland (south and north) to the killing of George Floyd and then the response of the  PSNI and the Garda to these demonstrations. The first article argues for the power of solidarity in the face of shared exploitation and oppression rather the  ‘allyship’ based on intersectional identity. Both  highlight the role of the Garda and PSNI in attempting to suppress the demonstrations. The first article also points  to the role of  Garda in suppressing the Debenham workers in Dublin (1).  The second article highlights the response of the Stormont government, falling back on the PSNI’s RUC past to enforce the harshest state response in the UK to these demonstrations.

 

1. GEORGE FLOYD DEMONSTRATIONS IN IRELAND

 

Black Lives Matter demonstration in Belfast

 

The Black Lives Matter demonstrations across Ireland have shown a massive upwelling of support for the protestors in the US. They show the immense power of spontaneous human solidarity. This is not “allyship” based on modern identity ideologies, but a concrete solidarity that sees racism and oppression in the Irish State and the British colonial enclave and is not afraid to say so. Initial demonstrations took place spontaneously across the island, with the main demonstrations in Dublin and Belfast. They were followed by more structured demonstrations on Saturday 6th June in Dublin, Galway, Belfast, Derry and many other centres. Although all were pressured by the police, with a number being cancelled and a Newry demonstration dispersed, turnout was in the thousands at the main demonstrations with black protestors joined by large numbers of white, mostly young, activists. Continue reading “THE GEORGE FLOYD DEMONSTRATIONS IN IRELAND”

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Jun 13 2020

ONE MAN’S TERRORIST

Connor Beaton reviews One Man’s Terrorist by Dan Finn. This first appeared in Red Pepper.

 

 

ONE MAN’S TERRORIST – A POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE IRA

When the Irish government announced plans earlier this year to host a special commemorative event for members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) who were killed in the War of Independence, the backlash was immediate and spectacular. Having seized the initiative on the centenary of the Easter Rising just a few short years earlier, marking it with an extensive programme of high-profile, state-backed events and initiatives, ministers now scored a remarkable own goal and found themselves charged with apologism for British colonial violence in Ireland. Hurried clarifications and part-denials from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan failed to stop ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ from rocketing to the top of the Irish charts off the back of a spirited online campaign, and new cracks began to appear in an already fragile governing coalition between Fine Gael and the eclectic bunch of independent politicians in cabinet with them. Continue reading “ONE MAN’S TERRORIST”

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Jun 11 2020

FANTASY FOOTBALL – THE IRISH LEFT AND FORMING A ‘LEFT GOVERNMENT’

This article, originally posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland) looks at the attempts by People before Profit and RISE to form a ‘Left government’ in Ireland with Sinn Fein. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL – THE IRISH LEFT AND FORMING A ‘LEFT GOVERNMENT’

 

Time for Unity – with whom and for what?

 

Recently People before Profit reopened talks with Sinn Fein about building an alternative left government in opposition to the attempts by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to construct a parliamentary majority. Continue reading “FANTASY FOOTBALL – THE IRISH LEFT AND FORMING A ‘LEFT GOVERNMENT’”

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Jun 08 2020

BREXIT HASN’T GONE AWAY – THE VIEW FROM IRELAND

This article first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland)  highlights the continuing relevance of Brexit to the British ruling class national populist strategy to attack the working class, and to continued inability of the the British Labour leadership now under Sir Keith Starmer to counter this.

 

The only alternative to Brexit – a Trump dictated trade deal

 

BREXIT HASN’T GONE AWAY – A pandemic of repression is on its way

After months of silence Brexit has returned to the headlines. It’s sudden reappearance runs alongside a realisation that nothing has been done, and that a deadline of June 30th is rapidly approaching without any progress. The signs are that a slow motion car crash is taking place and that Britain is falling out of the European Union without any agreement. Continue reading “BREXIT HASN’T GONE AWAY – THE VIEW FROM IRELAND”

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May 19 2020

THE GREENS IN GOVERNMENT? – Ireland has seen this movie before

The formation of a new government in Ireland is proving to be a tortuous process. Following Sinn Fein’s electoral  surge to first place, even a Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition can not provide a new government. Their Framework for Government document was designed to act as a bait for other parties. This article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) shows that the Irish Greens have taken the bait, and highlights the likely consequences.

 

THE GREENS IN GOVERNMENT? – Ireland has seen this movie before

 

Eamonn Ryan, leader of the Irish Greens enters coalition talks

One of the strangest aspects of the slow dance of the Green party towards government is the incredulous amazement of the socialist groups. How is it that a ‘left’ group like the Greens can think of such a thing? Continue reading “THE GREENS IN GOVERNMENT? – Ireland has seen this movie before”

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May 15 2020

TWO RESPONSES TO THE COVID19 PANDEMIC

Following from our earlier postings from Trade unionists, health workers, independence supporters and community activists and from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2020/03/26/fighting-the-covid-19-pandemic/), we are posting two further statements on the Covid19  pandemic, the first from Dumfries TUC , the second from SNP Socialists.

 

 

1. Dumfries TUC Co19 Statement

Continue reading “TWO RESPONSES TO THE COVID19 PANDEMIC”

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May 03 2020

IRELAND’S FRAMEWORK FOR GOVERNMENT

Following  their disastrous general election showing on the 8th  February,  Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have come up with Ireland’s Framework for Government document to try to create the basis for a new Irish government. Socialist Democracy (Ireland) provides an analysis of this.

 

IRELAND’S FRAMEWORK FOR GOVERNMENT

A Framework for Capitalist Survival

Michael Martin (Fianna Fail) and Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael)

The author Naomi Klein in her book The Shock Doctrine observes that capitalism never wastes a good crisis but always uses one to quietly launch a new offensive.

This is the case with the new Fine Gael/Fianna Fail joint framework document outlining a programme for a new government. Much of the focus is on the vague and general nature of the document, designed to draw in smaller parties and independents who can then write in the sort of minor policy bribe that will bring them into government and secure an overall majority.

The strategic chatter about which parties will cross the line and join the government is somewhat misplaced. The framework says a great deal more about the situation facing Irish capital and its response than the basic algebra of coalition. Continue reading “IRELAND’S FRAMEWORK FOR GOVERNMENT”

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Apr 22 2020

COVID-19 PANDEMIC CRACKS FACADE OF UNITY AT STORMONT

Much has been made of the UK government’s ‘4 nations’ approach in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Sunday Times  article exposed both  Covid’s 19’s  secondary concern (after a ‘No Deal Brexit) for Johnson and the Tories’ deliberate winding down of NHS preparations for pandemics.  In the face of this, the  supposedly ‘4 nations’ UK response  has been showing signs of  falling apart. Nicola Sturgeon has already made a political pivot to distance herself from the earlier SNP government approach along these lines.  We are posting this article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) showing  the impact of  the UK state in Northern Ireland in  Stormont Executive’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

COVID-19 PANDEMIC CRACKS FACADE OF UNITY AT STORMONT

 

 

The declarations of a new found approach and unity of purpose that accompanied the restoration of the Stormomt Executive in January have quickly given way to the well worn rhetoric and operating methods that accounted for the demise of its predecessor.  In early 2017, it was the  “Cash for Ash” scandal that was the immediate cause of the collapse of devolved institutions that had been in a state of decay for a long time.  Today, it is the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that is exposing divisions within the Executive and highlighting the underlying weakness of the political institutions! Continue reading “COVID-19 PANDEMIC CRACKS FACADE OF UNITY AT STORMONT”

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