" 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!

Monday, April 23, 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 .

How can we make progress , then , given that we rule out (as in commonsense we must) revolutionary armed struggle in the Free State , and given that economic and social circumstances are not hopeful ?

I believe that the central economic question in Irish history is the national question : sometimes in the South the national question can be lost sight of by republicans who see the ending of partition as a future goal to be accomplished by building a mass republican organisation on social issues . In fact , apart from its centrality to Irish political life , the 'national question' is the only question in the Ireland of today with a revolutionary political potential .

And so , while we cannot fail to be socialists in all areas of work identified in the economic resistance programme in 1979, we may err too far in a direction that is only superfically revolutionary unless the 'national question' is at all times kept to the fore.......
(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 .

There have always been progressive pressure groups in the British Labour Party, such as the early 1960s' 'Campaign for Democracy in Ulster' (sic) but , in Office , the British Labour Party has uncompromisingly toed the imperialist-unionist line .

To the left of the Party there have been several campaigns since 1969 committed to British withdrawal from Ireland : in the early 1970's there was the Anti-Internment League, which was superceded in 1976 by the Troops Out Movement (TOM). Geoff Bell concludes that " ...the inability of TOM to build the 'mass campaign' it hoped for was due to the hostile environment it had to work in.."

This is obviously true , but it did not prevent a powerful anti-war movement materialising in the United States at the time of Vietnam: however that may be , by 1980 these forces had shifted their attention to the Labour Committee on Ireland (LCI) which operates essentially within the British Labour Party.......
(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' .)

SOCIALIST LABOUR PARTY: Formed in 1977 following the Independent (Anti-Coalition) Labour election campaigns . Attracted much uncommitted support from members of the League For A Workers' Republic, the Irish Workers' Group, part of the Movement For A Socialist Republic and the Socialist Workers' Movement. These groups departed over the period 1978-1980 . The 'SLP' has been fissiparous from the beginning , alienating its members for diverse reasons , and eventually dissolved in 1982 .

THE SOCIALIST PARTY: This group changed its name from The Socialist Party Of Ireland in 1976 , following its adoption of a 'two-nations theory': it achieved some localised working-class support before it merged into the Democratic Socialist Party in 1982 .

THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF IRELAND: Formed in 1971 as a breakaway from Official Sinn Fein on the grounds that they were still too much of an all-class alliance and that a consciously socialist organisation was necessary . After an effort to build itself as a replacement for the Communist Party Of Ireland, it changed its name to the Socialist Party in 1976 .
(MORE LATER).