Jul 07 2017

VARADKAR ELECTION AS FINE GAEL LEADER SIGNALS FURTHER RIGHT SHIFT

Recently, in France we have see the election of Macron as President, with his new La Republique En Marche party winning a big majority in the French parliamentary elections. This represents one  attempt by the neoliberal Right  to  regain the initiative in the face of Left and populist Right challenges. In Ireland, the election of Leo Varadkar as Fine Gael leader represents another attempt, but within the exiting party set-up to do the same. The neoliberal sections of the media have concentrated their attention on the novel aspects of the two leaders in an attempt to downplay their role in promoting the continued interests of corporate business and support for the existing imperial order. This article from  Socialist Democracy (Ireland) examines the background and politics of Varadkar.

 

LEO VARADKAR ELECTION AS FINE GAEL LEADER SIGNALS FURTHER RIGHT SHIFT

‘King Leo’

The election of Leo Varadkar as Fine Gael leader – and his assumption of the role of Taoiseach – has been hailed as a watershed event in Ireland.  This perspective – which is particularity prevalent in international media coverage – carries the assumption that identity is the overriding factor in contemporary politics.  Within this framework the election of a relatively young gay man of ethnic migrant descent – standing in stark contrast to the profile of leaders that went before – is indeed a seminal event.  The other assumption attached to this identity centred perspective is that a person from such a background will have a more liberal approach to politics.  However, a consideration the record of Leo Varadkar quickly debunks such assumptions. Continue reading “VARADKAR ELECTION AS FINE GAEL LEADER SIGNALS FURTHER RIGHT SHIFT”

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Jan 03 2017

THE STRUGGLE FOR ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND

There is a major campaign going on in Ireland to overturn the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution which bans abortion.We are posting an article from John McAnulty of Socialist Democracy (Ireland) which exams this campaign. It was first posted at: http://socialistdemocracy.org/RecentArticles/RecentTheStruggleForAbortionRightsInIreland.html

 

THE STRUGGLE FOR ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND

Justified and burning anger hobbled by reformism

 On 25th November thousands of activists demonstrated in Dublin calling for the abolition of the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution – a section that asserts equal rights to life between the mother and foetus (the wording refers to the “unborn” which assumes that that life begins at conception). The demonstration was in part was a celebration of the decision by ICTU, the Irish trade union congress, to support the call to repeal the 8th.    In tribute to recent mobilisations by Polish women, many wore black – the main symbol for the Polish demonstrations.
Continue reading “THE STRUGGLE FOR ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND”

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Nov 05 2013

DUP BIGOTS MOVE TO RESTRICT ABORTION RIGHTS

After the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in pregnancy, after being admitted to Galway Hospital and refused an abortion, most socialists are aware of the reactionary role of the Catholic hierarchy over women’s rights in Ireland (see Ireland and the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act/). The following article, written by J. M. Thorn of Socialist Democracy (Ireland), highlights the equally reactionary role of Protestant bigotry in this regard in Northern Ireland.

Edwin Poots, DUP Health Minister at Stormont and anti-abortionist

Edwin Poots, DUP Health Minister at Stormont and anti-abortionist

Abortion rights are extremely limited in the North of Ireland. Terminations can only be legally carried out if pregnancy threatens the mother’s life, or if there is a long-term or permanent risk to her physical or mental health. Under these conditions there are around fifty terminations carried out within the health service each year.

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Aug 12 2013

IRELAND AND THE PROTECTION OF LIFE DURING PREGNANCY ACT

We are posting another article from the August issue of Socialist Democracy (Ireland). This is on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act in Ireland. It  is a follow up to an earlier posting about Savita Halappanavar who died when denied an abortion at the University Hospital in Galway (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2012/11/20/we-have-heartbeats-too/). 

 

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In the case of the abortion bill the vociferous opposition of the far right boosts this impression. The logic here is that if the SPUC, Youth Defence and the Catholic hierarchy are against something then it must have a progressive element. But this is false. For opposition from such sources reflects more their rabid nature than the progressive character of the legislation. A much better guide is the support the legislation received from the Irish political class. Despite most of the political parties being anti-abortion to some degree or other the legislation passed with a comfortable majority. The predicted upheavals within parties such and Fine Gael and Fianna Fail failed to materialise.
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Nov 12 2012

PRO-CHOICE IN THE U.S. NEEDS TO TAKE A LEFT TURN

Susan Dorazio, Women’s Liberation activist and past-convener of the Women’s Commission of the Socialist Party USA, currently residing in Scotland, highlights the deadend  into which the Democratic Party has taken the once vibrant US Women’s Liberation Movement  over abortion rights.

Since the U.S. pro-choice and pro-life campaigns spring from the same source, namely the ‘new politics’ and the liberation movements of the Vietnam War era, some background is needed to appreciate their connections and meaning today.

From the late 1960’s through the 1970’s. abortion rights was intrinsic to the Women’s Liberation movement. During this period, one-third of the states in the U.S. liberalized or repealed their criminal abortion laws. In 1973, both the abortion rights and the Women’s Liberation movements seemed to emerge victorious when the U.S. Supreme Court, in their ruling on Roe v Wade, deemed abortion legal in all states on the grounds of a woman’s right to privacy as granted in the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Continue reading “PRO-CHOICE IN THE U.S. NEEDS TO TAKE A LEFT TURN”

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