Calling all stations… the Cedar Lounge and its political stance November 20, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
Okay, time for some solipsistic reflection so apologies in advance.
On the other hand for those who post and comment or just visit here and for whom it provides a bit of entertainment or even better some utility perhaps it’s good every once in a while to explain what’s going on and why.
The discussion on the MOPE post by Garibaldy is fascinating and one that I think is very important. I have to state that I don’t have a problem with Garibaldy’s contribution and I should also say it’s not ‘my’ blog either even if by dint of circumstance I tend to write a fair bit of the text. It is and remains a group blog.
Firstly it’s important to note that CLR tries not to have too heavy a hand on its contributors or those who comment and within the guidelines that we do have his post is fine. Indeed we’d be a useless forum if we only had material that we all agree with uniformly. Those who bother to read my thoughts on the public sector will know that while broadly supportive of the sector I diverge from some tropes quite radically, usually I hope in a left way, but not exclusively. That, I think is both an honest reflection of my views and makes discussion and debate centred around such matters better. And the point being that it is possible to be of Republicanism or socialism while at the same time willing to provide critiques of aspects of it.
Secondly I’m not a fan of the MOPE theory myself, I have to say that outright, but I think that what Garibaldy described was fair game, and not least because he acknowledged Adams speech was excellent. There is a problem about transmitting the detail of the conflict particularly abroad. This is a contested history. It’s probably best to acknowledge that. Certainly Dawn Purvis’ comments on unionism and its past are a welcome break with a facade of denial that refuses not merely to engage with that history but also with the living legacy of that period. As Left Republicans – and I count G as one, however we define the term Republican – it’s particularly important to face up to the dangers of a mythos evolving, or being perpetuated, that does us not service if it opens us to others criticisms for being factually inaccurate.
Thirdly we’ve had people from all strands of the left write here, including Sinn Féin and the sadly long departed Frank Little who posted for over a year and is a sore loss in terms of the breadth of analysis he gave us (particularly from a EU sceptical position). I’d be disturbed if this was seen as sticky central. I’ve been accused to my face of being a crypto-Provo or Stick. I don’t think that either charge is entirely true – given that my own ideal political home would probably have been something like OSF in the 1970 to 1973 period, a movement big enough to accommodate people like Jim Monaghan (PD) and Sean Garland and Tony Gregory. That the different tendencies they represent went their different ways subsequently is one of the great tragedies of Irish left politics.
Being sympathetic to pretty much all currents of leftism and Republicanism on the island, and where not sympathetic at least willing to engage in a constructive and courteous way the idea that it would be reducible to one viewpoint is something I’d hope to avoid. I can understand given the concentration on The Lost Revolution this year due to its publication that there might be the impression sometimes that that was a major concern of the CLR, but since contributors are posting about all manner of subjects – with the most recent addition of Tombuktu to the fold whose pieces have without doubt extended the range and scope of our interests for the better – I hope in general terms it is only one amongst many concerns. Yep, the Lost Revolution and the debates around it have been very important to me personally, but mostly because I hope these debates offer an opportunity to revitalise the left on the island and perhaps mend some of the damage inflicted by time and circumstance. The range of people present at the launch from SF, the WP, the SP and other formations at the launch of the book was an heartening development and an indication that much of the past while never forgotten can at least be put aside in order to deal with our current problems.
Finally, and all that said, there is a dearth of contributions from SF and indeed Labour, the SP and other formations. So it’s a narrow slice of you who’re making yourselves known at the moment. There have been a number of people who I’ve asked to contribute from various parties of the left (you know who you are) the occasional piece, but they’ve been understandably unable to spare the time, although I should add many of those people have given huge support behind the scenes in terms of forwarding ideas for posts, documents and just general chat.
So that said, more guest posts would be very welcome, from any left source, and if people want to send stuff in, they are very welcome to do so, on topics that take their fancy from any left perspective. We’ll try to put them up if they dovetail with the general approach of the CLR. And we’ll see how it goes from there. The email is… on the er…right. I’ve really got to do something about that.