" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Friday, April 13, 2007

WHICH WAY FORWARD IN THE FREE STATE....... ?

In the wake of Sinn Fein successs in the North , republicans are increasingly having to confront the problem of building a realistic strategy for the very different political situation that exists in the 26 Counties . In this controversial analysis , Sinn Fein ard comhairle ('National Executive') member Paddy Bolger , argues that the Sinn Fein concept of an 'Economic Resistance Movement' , put forward in 1971 and expanded eight years later , is seriously over-optimistic , and that the national question remains the central revolutionary issue on which Free State workers can be mobilised in a painstaking and gradualist approach .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 .

WOMEN'S RIGHTS :

The women's movement is not of course in any sense a mass movement , and where women have mobilised it has been in the area of civil liberties on issues which primarily affect them . But the Anti-Amendment Campaign, and campaigns for contraception and divorce , are democratic demands which cross class divides and are not in themselves revolutionary demands , except insofar as they challenge the 'confessional nature' of the 26 County State .

Although changes in family law and other areas are absolutely worth fighting for , can anyone seriously argue that they have any real revolutionary potential ? Class demands for women - equal employment opportunities for working-class women , equal pay and the release of working women from the family home - are of central importance for the building of a progressive women's movement , but the current potential of these demands - and for the foreseeable future - is as limited as is the current revolutionary potential of the working class as a whole.......
(MORE LATER).



TROUBLESOME BUSINESS .
The book - 'Troublesome Business-The Labour Party and the Irish Question', by GEOFFREY BELL , was published by Pluto Press in 1982.
Reviewed here by Ciaran Dowd.
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1982 .

Geoff Bell , the author of this short book , and himself a member of the British Labour Party, concludes unequivocally that "...the attitude and relationships of the British Labour Party to Ireland have been neither honourable , international nor socialist . "

While this can scarcely be news to Irish republicans , the book does serve nonetheless the useful purpose of documenting the progress of this dishonourable , chauvinist relationship from the days of the Black and Tan war up to the 1981 hunger-strike. Although it is in fact heavy on recording events and somewhat lacking in analysis , Geoff Bell's book is extremely readable and useful as a reference for dates and quotes . Overall , as the first book of its kind , it is recommended reading .

During the 1880's one of the small left-wing predecessors of the Labour Party, the 'Social Democratic Federation', threw its weight behind the campaign of the Land League and pledged itself to "...end coercion in Ireland.." . This solidarity was met with a mixed reaction from groups already campaigning on that issue.......
(MORE LATER).



GLOSSARY OF THE LEFT IN IRELAND : FROM 1960 TO 1983.......
These notes attempt to record the left-wing organisations which have existed in Ireland since 1960 . No attempt has been made to record purely local organisations outside Dublin and Belfast , or microscopic groups which never reached double figures . The larger organisations have been presented in more detail .
From 'GRALTON' magazine, 1983.
By John Goodwillie.
(NOTE : Links in the following article are as accurate as possible - not all the groups mentioned left a discernible 'footprint' .)

RED REPUBLICAN PARTY: This group changed its name from 'Left Revolutionary Group' in 1976 : by 1978 it had ceased to function .

REPUBLICAN LABOUR PARTY: Formed in 1963 around two M.P.'s , Harry Diamond and Gerry Fitt. Although it won several seats on Belfast Corporation, it never had much of a party organisation . Reduced in size after the departure of 'Lord' Fitt to the SDLP in 1970 , its remaining M.P., Paddy Kennedy, continued to use the name . The Party ceased to function after winning no seats in the 1973 election.

REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST TENDENCY: Formed within the Socialist Labour Party in 1979 by supporters of People's Democracy, this group left the SLP altogether shortly after their formation .
(MORE LATER).