jump to navigation

What you want to say… Open Thread, 9th January 2013 January 9, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

About these ads


1. Julian Assandwich - January 9, 2013

CAHWT will be holding their National Rally this Saturday in the Red Cow from 12.30pm. All opposed to the home tax, water tax, septic tank tax and supportive of a fightback against austerity are welcome to attend and contribute.

The Campaign will be gathering to review the progress of 2012 and to discuss plans for an even more successful 2013.


2. Starkadder - January 9, 2013

Winona LaDuke on protests against Canada’s recent gutting of
environmental laws:

before the passage of Bill C-45, 2.6 million rivers, lakes and a good portion of Canada’s three ocean shorelines were protected under the Navigable Waters Act, now only eighty-seven are protected. That’s just the beginning of the problem, which seems to have not drawn much attention by the general public.

“Flash mob” protests with traditional dancing and drumming have erupted in dozens of shopping malls across North America, marches and highway blockades by aboriginal groups across Canada and supporters have emerged from as far away as New Zealand and the Middle East.


3. Helena Sheehan - January 9, 2013

Time for a new initiative on the Irish left. Do you agree? What would you like to see happen?

que - January 9, 2013

simply put the ULA as a functioning political entity. Any other attempt is to start entirely from scratch yet the ULA is anthing but united.

Is any new initiative worthwhile without analysing why the ULA collapsed and how to prevent it. The ULA collapsed because either (a) the ULA and SWP are big fish in very small respective ponds but with very big ideological straight jackets, or (b) Claire Daly.

Any new initiative will always have to overcome the problem listed under (a) and it wont necessarily be SWP or SP but a like minded dogmatic person(s) willing to doom the whole project on a point of principle no matter how self-defeating that choice.

Thats the problem and any new initiative will face the same issue pretty much immediately.

LeftAtTheCross - January 9, 2013

To Helena’s comment, yes.

To que’s comment, any new initiative need not step on the toes of the ULA or its constituent pieces.

Helena Sheehan - January 9, 2013

Much, although not all, of the impetus for this is coming from the unravelling of the ULA. Some of those involved are in the unaffiliated section of the ULA. See Gavin Mendel-Gleason’s comment on this thread.

LeftAtTheCross - January 9, 2013

The unravelling of the ULA is perhaps a catalyst but any discussion of new initiatives need not be considered as being linearly descended from, nor even distantly related to, the ULA itself or its constituent pieces. There are certainly questions to be asked about the ULA, and lessons to be learned, but whether the scope of discussions need be limited to that subset of the terrain across which the Left needs to travel is an entirely different question.

que - January 9, 2013

The new initiative doesnt need to be from the ULA’s (former) constituents but it represents theproblem of the imploding, or self-limiting, movement which doesnt seem that rare for the Irish left sadly. However pushes for a new initiative needs to be cognisant of that problem. Are left movements being built up in a way that allows them to transition from small (even micro) groups up the scale into mass parties.
Is there any planning made for that transition and the stresses it involves. Why when left groups start building real energy do they break?

LeftAtTheCross - January 9, 2013

“Why when left groups start building real energy do they break?”

A bit of a wider perspecitve here might be useful in fairness. The KKE, PCP, SYRIZA, Die Linke, not to mention the euro-communists in the PCF, PCE etc. The Left is more than the ULA and it’s British equivalents in the past.

Even in the Irish perspective the WP certainly had plenty of momentum and energy in the 80s, and the circumstances of that breakage (the crisis of international communist parties following the collapse of the USSR, amongst other reasons) don’t correlate with the reasons that various Trotskyist alliances have fallen apart.

Not to take away from your point though, that perhaps some honest self-reflection might be in order there. Just don’t go holding your breath for the main components of the ULA to admit they made any mistakes. You see the tone and content of their argument here on CLR, they’re never wrong, it’s always someone else’s fault.

Mark P - January 9, 2013

the circumstances of that breakage (the crisis of international communist parties following the collapse of the USSR, amongst other reasons) don’t correlate with the reasons that various Trotskyist alliances have fallen apart.

Well that’s certainly true. The Trotskyists were never stupid enough to harness their political ideas and their organisational fortunes to the continued existence of various grey, repressive, bureaucratic dictatorships in the first place. Which reflects rather well on them, I would have thought. So while they suffered consequences from the general retreat of the left and of the workers movement in that period (which was due also to the neoliberal offensive), they didn’t suffer quite the same cataclysm as many Stalinist groups whose favoured utopias disappeared.

Some people though don’t seem to be to keen on learning from experience. Exactly how much of this “honest self-reflection” you speak of did it take for the remnants of the Workers Party to end up diligently sending congratulatory messages to the God Emperors of the Kim dynasty? I mean, whatever might be said about the morality or sense of linking yourselves to the Soviet Union, at least there was a certain kind of tragic logic to it. But the North Korea thing seems like an attempt to prove Marx’s point on the first page of the 18th Brumaire.

As for whose “fault” the difficulties of the ULA are, I’m not much inclined to go pointing fingers of blame at anyone in particular. The ULA represented a testing of the water, a chance to see if there was a significant audience out there for a broader radical left organisation, and more importantly a large cohort of people outside the traditional left willing to get actively involved. As it turned out, there wasn’t and still isn’t.

Still though, I’m sure our embittered friends in the rump of the Workers Party, who let us remember refused to get involved in the ULA at all, will find plenty of reasons to blame “Trotskyists” for the problems of a formation they have contributed nothing towards.

LeftAtTheCross - January 9, 2013

Whatever Mark P. The success or failure of the ULA has precious little to do with the WP. Not our problem, simple as.

4. doctorfive - January 9, 2013
Helena Sheehan - January 9, 2013

A fine person and committed comrade. I knew him in the CPI and then in Labour Left. Good singer too. He sang Connolly’s “Watchword of Labour” on the “Songs of Irish Labour” cd that I produced. The funeral is 10am on Saturday at Mt Jerome.

5. Gavin Mendel-Gleason - January 9, 2013

I just wrote an article on Spirit of Contradiction about Left Unity, which has generated some discussion. The United Left reading group at Dublin City University used it as a document for discussion.


The resulting feeling coming out of the meeting was that talk of a party (as exists in the document) was probably premature, and that rather than leap directly to the question of a new left party, perhaps we need to have a broader discussion forum of the left. Perhaps we could discuss what policies and platforms could be used to help with a regroupment.

Would people be interested in such a thing?

WorldbyStorm - January 9, 2013

I’ve been following those discussions and they’re very interesting Gavin.

Julian Assandwich - January 10, 2013

Another quality contribution here.


This is everyone’s problem, so everyone should be engaging with the debate, getting a piece of paper out and jotting down their experiences of good and bad organization/method for the collective benefit.

Helena Sheehan - January 10, 2013

Henry Silke also is a member of our DCU group that has been having discussions on a new initiative on the left.

Mark P - January 11, 2013

I tend to think that the very last thing the Irish left needs is another bout of navel gazing about structures.

Julian Assandwich - January 11, 2013

I’ve read that line being trotted out by UK SWP CC bureaucrats in recent days. It’s really not good enough.

Please engage with the debate constructively and fraternally.

Mark P - January 12, 2013

That’s an entirely dishonest and nasty comparison, Julian, and I hope you’ll withdraw it.

I have no problem with discussion of structures, in the sense that I don’t think it’s inherently apolitical or debilitating. But the independent bit of the ULA is full of people who think that structures are the key thing, and in and of themselves represent a crucial part of gaining a wider audience. Henry’s article is in part premised on this assumption. And it’s wrong.

The ULA hasn’t grown and is in no position to move towards the party most of these activists want, so they are casting about for something to blame, mostly various internal things to do with structure.

critical media review - January 12, 2013

Another? I missed the last one :-)

6. nicholaspopov - January 9, 2013

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” – Thomas Jefferson

The development of civilization makes democracy and the humanization of society inevitable. The best minds tirelessly look for a new and effective political form of government that would adequately represent today’s changing society. The solution is near and the necessary resources to establish a new form of government are already available in society.

A new, multipolar political system as a real democratic revolution.

7. que - January 9, 2013

The new jobless figures for EZ and EU out yesterday are particularly grim. 11.8%
Official figures from Eurostat showed that the number of unemployed in the struggling 17 member currency union jumped to 18.8 million. Across the wider European Union, the unemployment total hit 26 million out of a working population of almost 230 million. The unemployment rate for the 27 member EU remained at 10.7%, the same as in October, but up from 10% a year ago.
One of the writers who covers the europe crisis okay is evans pritchard of the telegraph. discovered when reading their live blog on the crisis – he is a gene kerrigan type from what I have seen. He berates Barroso et al. for naturally enough not doing anything about it as does Kevin o’Rourke in Irisheconomy.ie
Often times we get excited about an event and say tis big and surely now some change will happen only to be left wondering why the excitement in the first place. Yet unemployment on this scale is hardly an issue when there should be panic in every EU capital about it.

ejh - January 9, 2013

One of the writers who covers the europe crisis okay is evans pritchard of the telegraph. discovered when reading their live blog on the crisis – he is a gene kerrigan type from what I have seen.

Probably not, quite, as he supports the Coalition’s cuts in the UK, so I think he’s rather more to the right than Kerrigan. But he writes well and the points he makes are basically good ones.

que - January 9, 2013

yeah i kinda suspected there’d be a clunker from him. He does wright very well and as you say the points seem good ones but then its usually when I see him writing on europe that i read it and generally avoid the other GB focussed articles – likely that there are some objectionable stuff there. it is the DT.

CL - January 9, 2013

AEP has some form in the U.S. too.
-In form, Evans-Pritchard’s book is a feverish concatenation of what his countryman, Guardian Washington correspondent Martin Walker, calls “the Clinton legends” into one vast, delusional epic.-

8. irishelectionliterature - January 9, 2013
9. ivorthorne - January 9, 2013

Why must all media outlets point out that the Nevin institute is funded by unions but nobody points out how other think tanks are funded?

que - January 9, 2013

maybe the Nevin Inst. pushes that in their description to media ?
Its prominent enough on their site.

10. ejh - January 9, 2013

You know that change of mind the IMF have supposedly had about the benefits of austerity?

Not in Portugal they haven’t.

(I like the sign-off about cutting unemployment benefits, as if just to show what a bunch of shits they still are.)

irishelectionliterature - January 9, 2013

Due to the size of Greece and Spain, the Austerity regime in Portugal doesn’t get much press. Aside from cuts to services and pay the Government also cut the number of public holidays there by 4 days, so as to make them look more competitive!

11. Ciaran - January 9, 2013

Wondering what people thought of this?:


How many jobs could the State have created directly with that money? This doesn’t even rise to the level of stupidity. Has anyone at a meeting of ISME or SFA ever raised the possibility that things could be better for their members if they could get customers who were able to spend money at their places of business? Then again, I guess that would clash somewhat with their constant feather-spitting on the subjects of social welfare and public sector pay, as that would make them seem confused, amateurish even.

LeftAtTheCross - January 10, 2013
Ciaran - January 10, 2013

LATC – missed that, but thanks.

Needless to say, I agree with all sentiments expressed in your exchange with CMK.

12. Ciarán - January 10, 2013

The article below gives an idea of the regular harassment still faced by many republicans and their families at the hands of the ‘reformed’ PSNI.

A Season of Christmas Fear

13. smiffy - January 10, 2013

This is a strange one, even by INM standards: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/senator-ivana-bacik-catholic-bishops-hate-women-3348477.html

The headline states: “Senator Ivana Bacik: Bishops “hate women””. Except when you read the story, she didn’t say that at all. What she appears to have said (as far as I can tell – it’s not quoted at all in the piece, and I didn’t see the exchange) was to have asked them if opposition to abortion was based on misogyny. Michael Brennan then takes it upon himself to explain to readers what misogyny is.

Which leads to two possible explanations. Either the Independent thinks that its readership are so stupid that they need words explained to them, or that the paper deliberately wants to misrepresent what Ivana Bacik actually said. The quotation marks in the headline is particularly misleading, implying that it’s a direct quote from Ivana, rather than a direct quote from the sub-editor’s dictionary.

They do hate women, though. Obviously.

doctorfive - January 11, 2013

Bacik in full


Over the last two days we have heard the consensus from independent legal and medical experts on the need for legislation for the X case. Atheist Ireland is correct to point out that three days of parliamentary hearings should not be necessary to discuss how the law should allow a doctor to save the life of a dying pregnant woman. I have a question for the Catholic representatives in that context – that is, those who oppose legislation for the X case. Is that opposition not based on an underlying belief in the innate deceitfulness of women, and misogyny? Second, they spoke this morning about compassion. Where is their compassion for the teenage girls who are victims of rape or incest, who become pregnant as a result and are suicidal as a result of that, as we saw in the X case and subsequently? Finally, can they say what business it is of a church whose members are entirely and exclusively male and celibate to pronounce in such absolutist terms on such critical issues regarding the reproductive rights and health of women and girls?

All available to watch back here too


ivorthorne - January 11, 2013

To be fair that was pretty much what she wanted to communicate?

14. Gearóid - January 11, 2013
Michael Carley - January 11, 2013

I’ve just read Jim Higgins’ More Years for the Locust:


and this does seems to be something which would not be out of place as an appendix.

irishelectionliterature - January 11, 2013

Lenins Tomb has a decent piece on it as well.
Depressing stuff indeed.

LeftAtTheCross - January 11, 2013

Surprised it hasn’t attracted more commentary on this side of the pond.

It does point to reasons we don’t see many SWP commentators on the various blogs of the Left.

D_D is about the only SWP voice we see here. Curious to hear his take on this pretty appalling situation.

WorldbyStorm - January 11, 2013

It’s very depressing. Isn’t D_D former SWP?

That’s one thing I’ve noticed over the years too. Very very few SWP voices.

Gearóid - January 11, 2013

From the Lenin’s Tomb piece: “The members who raise this issue, many of them students, are yelled at in meetings, denounced for ‘creeping feminism’.” It’s probably time to reevaluate your leftism if you find yourself thinking along those lines.

Mark P - January 11, 2013

D_D hasn’t been in the SWP for many years, as I understand it.

Yes, this issue is pretty grim. If there was an “ordinary” row in the British SWP I’d be all on for a bit of semi-serious back and forth about it, but this sort of thing takes all the amusement value out of playing the petty sectarian.

doctorfive - January 12, 2013

+1 Gearóid

Hard to see much future for SWP in this light

Michael Carley - January 12, 2013

It hasn’t had much coverage here (in England). There have been rumours flying around for a while, but this is the first I have seen of it online or in print. I’m a bit surprised that there has been nothing in the mainstream press.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

+1 doctorfive and Gearoid

That’s an interesting point Michael but I wonder is it a function of the relatively marginal nature of the SWP?

Difficult not to believe that this is where their organisational rhetoric has run slap bang into reality. The case should have gone to the police and other social agencies immediately it came up, as some one asked even had the decision of the ‘internal’ investigation gone th other way what possible sanction could be imposed. It’s all just playing around with power relationships by those who shouldn’t be anywhere close to having authority in such cases. Appalling and oddly reminiscent of events closer to home in this state,

Michael Carley - January 12, 2013

Spoke too soon, it’s in the Independent:


and Laurie Penny in the New Statesman:


The allegations would have come up around the same time that the Jimmy Saville scandal, so it’s hard to see why the CC thought this was the right way to handle the claims.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

I agree with Penny’s line but I wonder if it can be simplified further to an individual’s right (and the necessity Of this too) – female or male – to have such events assessed by statutory authorities. It’s certainly true feminism and attitudes towards it inflect the issue, but fundamentally it’s about such a case being channelled immediately to an agency beyond the organisation it occurs within. That’s the problem, the SWP took upon itself the right to assess when it shouldn’t have.

Michael Carley - January 12, 2013

It’s hard to see how you could believe that the alleged victims are well served by an internal inquiry, or how the accused is better off being absolved by a committee than being acquitted by a jury of his peers.

ejh - January 12, 2013

I like Higgins, it’s good stuff, but it does seem to me that – not unusually for this context – he reproduces in his own work much of what there is to criticise in his subject. Depending on which side of a faction fight they’re on, people are either not only wrong but ill-motivated and untrustworthy, or not only right but well-motivated and trustworthy too. At least one individual switches immediately from the latter to the former state as soon as they change sides. And you wonder – if this lot really are such a showr, why is Higgins claiming they were otherwise the great hope of the left, and why didn’t he notice when he was a leading member?

Much of the far left put too much store in reckoning they’re right and don’t take enough account of how they behave or how they come over. That’s my thesis.

Starkadder - January 11, 2013

Laurie Penny has a piece on it as well:

The writer China Mieville, a longstanding member of the SWP, told me that, like many members, he is “aghast”:

“The way such allegations were dealt with – complete with questions about accusers’ past relationships and drinking habits that we would instantly, rightly denounce as sexist in any other context – was appalling. It’s a terrible problem of democracy, accountability and internal culture that such a situation can occur, as is the fact that those arguing against the official line in a fashion deemed unacceptable to those in charge could be expelled for ‘secret factionalism.”


Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 11, 2013

Too many petty full-time creeps, used to the limited power which being ‘someone’ in the SWP gives them created a horrible culture of backslapping and refusing to consider that dissidents might ever have a point- usually this means very little but in this case that culture seems to have had appalling consequences. Mind you, I can assure you that the person at the centre of this (not the victims) is certainly a complete (word banned from this site).

ejh - January 12, 2013

Yes. I’m not sure my time as a trades union activist overlapped with his in the same union, so I can’t remember exactly where I’ve come across him in person, but he’s struck me as a bully. Which doesn’t prove anything, but he’s not someone I would want to work under, or with.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

Interesting how higher profile members are kicking against this. Of course they may be slightly or very much outside the institutional bubble and actually appreciate the severity of the situation. Which is no excuse for those who don’t.

EamonnCork - January 12, 2013

This is extremely bad stuff. You’d wonder if it’s having any effect on the party here. I suppose that depends on the relationship between the English and Irish SWPs. Does anyone know the exact nature of that relationship and if there’s any direct link at all?
It’s astoundingly similar to the way the Church here dealt with child abuse allegations, the insistence on managing the thing in house for fear of it causing reputational damage to the institution.
Hard to see how anyone could defend it yet the comments section under Penny’s article shows that some people are doing so and, interestingly, reveals the grounds on which they’re doing so. They’ve no argument at all as it happens. I always intensely dislike when people, old Communists mainly, describe the smaller left-wing parties as ‘sects,’ but in this case that’s what the SWP have behaved like.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

That’s an interesting question about the relationship between the two. I’ve always had the impression its very close indeed, but functionally I wonder how it works.

Yes, those comments were revealing weren’t they?

ejh - January 12, 2013

There’s various aspects to the political-culture question and how it relates to the current scandal, but it’s seemed to me for a long time that it’s just not a good idea, on all sorts of grounds, to have a political model which derives from conditions of illegality and civil war and apply it to a situation of long-term legality and relative civil peace. It has all sorts of dangers built into it, not the least of which is that it makes it harder to address any serious problems that arise.

I don’t want to be telling people what to do in an organisation of which I’m not a member, but I think it’s sufficiently obvious to a lot of people who are in that organisation that they have no option but to look at every aspect of their work as well as dealing thoroughly and properly with the scandal. It’s up to them, of course, but if they don’t do it properly and get it right then I’m afraid this is the end.

Clive Sullish - January 12, 2013

@EamonCork: To respond to your question, “I suppose that depends on the relationship between the English and Irish SWPs. Does anyone know the exact nature of that relationship and if there’s any direct link at all?”

The relationship would be comparable to the relationship between the Vatican and the Irish Catholic Church. Neither of the SWPs mentioned should be regarded as independent national parties – fundamentally they view themselves as national sections of a worldwide revolutionary movement, the International Socialist Tendency (IS). The British SWP was the founding section of the IS, and remains far-and-away the most influential within it. The undermining of the authority of the British ‘cardinals’ of the IS will consequently have enormous consequences. The Serbian section has already walked away (but the Irish:ones are too well-integrated to consider that)

EamonnCork - January 12, 2013

That’s a rather terrible state of affairs for the PBP then Clive. By the way, that’s my favourite nom de plume on the CLR. I thought for quite a while that your surname was Sullish.

ejh - January 12, 2013

The relationship would be comparable to the relationship between the Vatican and the Irish Catholic Church.

Ah, that’s not quite right, since the dominance of one over the other is basically a result of its much greater weight of numbers as opposed to any official hierarchy. A better comparison might be between the USSR and communist-era Bulgaria, say. Or indeed the USA and the United Kingdom.

EamonnCork - January 12, 2013

On Socialistunity.com There’s a transcript of the Disputes Commitee’s report to the SWP Conference, where several female members of the party express their disgust at the way the case was handled. It makes for pretty awful reading but is sadly instructive about the way the SWP went about it.
I’ll probably be chided for my naivete by someone more familiar with the territory myself but I’m shocked because I did think the SWP was a reputable organisation and a force for good on the left. And that view doesn’t at all survive a look at that transcript. It’s like reading something from the Healy era of the WRP.
It’s pity we don’t have any PBP people on here. It would be nice to know if there’s an Irish party line on this one. Because they could pretty easily end up being tarred with the same brush. This story won’t be confined to left wing political sites for long.

ejh - January 12, 2013

I think the party’s internal life has been pretty unhealthy, and increasingly so, for quite a while (Some people will argue that it’s always been so, but I’ll content myself with “quite a while”.) Individual members’ activism and commitment has perhaps disguised that, maybe even from themselves.

They’ve made a lot of bad decisions, too, and even though they’ve sometimes reversed those decisions, I think they’ve made the classic error of attributing those errors to individuals rather than looking at the process of how they came to make them. I think they will have to do this now. They have no option, anyway, since it’s not a question simply of how they view themselves, but of how other people view them.

ejh - January 12, 2013

I thought this by Mike Marquesee was very good. Incidentally, if I thought somebody had forged my wife’s signature on a document, there wouldn’t be any debate about whether I was going to go to the police about it, because I’d have gone first thing.

EamonnCork - January 12, 2013

Worse it gets. I like Marqusee, one of the best writers on sport anywhere. Mieville is a terrific writer as well. I’ve always marvelled at the SWP’s ability to attract creative talent and thought it was to their credit. Though I suppose you could say the same about Scientology.
Have just got this week’s Socialist Worker by E-Mail and there’s no mention at all of the controversy. However Battersea Adventure Playground is being occupied.

Clive Sullish - January 12, 2013

@ejh Re “A better comparison might be between the USSR and communist-era Bulgaria…”
OK, you win the Best Analogy competition

Mark P - January 12, 2013

Marquesee wasn’t in the SWP. He was one of the handful of “former Labour leftists” they paraded around as close allies during the latter days of the Socialist Alliance and the early ones of the Stop the War Coalition. He may as well have been in the SWP, mind you, given that he always went along with their line as far as I could see, right up until his sudden falling out with them. At which point he disappeared from platforms they controlled.

An excellent writer, mind you, and a decent skin.

ejh - January 12, 2013

He may as well have been in the SWP, mind you, given that he always went along with their line as far as I could see

Not as far as I recall, except that of course he agreed with them on the war.

Mark P - January 12, 2013

In all of the arguments within the Socialist Alliance and Stop the War, during the period when the SWP was putting him on every platform going, he was in close agreement with the SWP to the best of my recollection. He and Curtis were very useful people to have making the arguments they wanted made. I don’t mean to suggest that he’d adopted the SWP’s fundamental politics.

ejh - January 12, 2013


Mark P - January 12, 2013

Oh, sorry, that should be Davies, not Curtis.

15. Rot Peter der Affe - January 11, 2013

The (ultra-conservative) Catholic bishops here in Germany have just gone back on the decision to allow an independent criminologist to investigate child abuse by the clergy and their associates.

Sounds familiar?

Rather than give the perpetrators any link-space here’s an interview with the victims organisation.

WorldbyStorm - January 11, 2013

Not good.

16. Pj - January 12, 2013

Feet up, a nice glass of Magners and watching the trotskyites implode and argue over who raped whom. Havent had this much craic since the days of Healy’s WRP

Jack Jameson - January 12, 2013

Trotskyist infighting might be craic normally but rape is never a subject of mirth.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

+1 (well, maybe not the infighting bit, though to be honest infighting in any political organisation of whatever strip can be both interesting, educative and a bit of craic now and then).

17. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 12, 2013

Nice priorities Pj- hope you fucking choke on your cider

18. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 12, 2013

People are naturally referencing Gerry Healy and the WRP, but there’s a crucial difference. While the WRP had their moment in the late 1950s, by the time of the Healy scandal (in the 80s) they were regarded as a tiny group of harmless nutters, led by a real nutter. Publishing a daily paper, in colour, funded by Libya, Iraq or whoever else was prepared to fund them gave them a presence, but outside of Vanessa Redgrave nobody took them seriously.
The SWP, for better or worse (and probably for worse) are the largest left-wing organisation outside the British Labour party. I think Penny’s article is worth quoting on this

‘The Socialist Workers’ Party, for those who aren’t familiar with it already, is a political organisation of several thousand members which has been a prominent force on the British left for more than 30 years. They are at the forefront of the fight against street fascism in Britain, were a large organising presence in the student and trade union movement over the past several years, and are affiliated with large, active parties in other countries, like Germany’s Die Linke. Many of the UK’s most important thinkers and writers are members, or former members.

Like many others on the left in Britain, I’ve had my disagreements with the SWP, but I’ve also spoken at their conferences, drunk their tea, and have a lot of respect for the work they do. They are not a fringe group: they matter.’

I would say that this HAS to effect the Irish SWP- how it does so is another question. But you’ll be waiting for SWP members to post on CLR- it’s on the unofficial banned list.

19. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 12, 2013
Starkadder - January 12, 2013

Shortly before he left the SWP, Mark Steel complained
that discussing the cause of the SWP’s decline was discouraged: ” “anyone who has raised the issue has been derided”:


EamonnCork - January 12, 2013

Bright guy Mark Steel. His Reasons to be Cheerful, which is packaged like one more boring stand-up comic memoir, is actually a warm hearted, well written and passionate memoir about left wing activism. One of the best left wing memoirs I’ve read in fact and a thousand times better than its hugely over-rated and not very funny at all Labour Party equivalent, Things Can Only Get Better than John O’Farrell. A party that is pissing off people like that might need to take a look at itself.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

I liked them both to be honest, but Steel’s book is a cracking read.

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

I thought O’Farrell’s was too long and you could almost see him pausing for the laugh after the punchline. I probably liked it more before I read Steel’s book. I’d really love to read an Irish equivalent of either of them though we’d be more likely to get, “how Michael Smurfit proved to be a really big help when I was doing all those corporate gigs.”

20. Pj - January 12, 2013

Branno, with the big thick empty head you’ve got I heard you put your t-shirt on feet first.

Harry’s Place has an interesting piece on the internal dynamics of the SWP Trotskyites, it seems that apart from the spot of raping they operated a so called ‘f**k circuit’ within their weird cult. All the latest revelations are over at : http://hurryupharry.org/2013/01/11/the-swps-fk-circuit/

ejh - January 12, 2013

Two points to be made about this chap: first, he’s obviously much more concerned to have perverse entertainment with the allegations than he is about their seriousness: second, I do believe we’ve had some recent discussions on here in relation to unsubstantiated allegations, which may conceivably be being breached.

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

And one point to be made about the comments section of the article he linked to. Jesus, what a fucking sewer.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 12, 2013

Ah Pj, what can I say that Brendan Gleeson doesn’t put better…

21. eamonncork - January 12, 2013

Someone who finds Harry’s Place ‘interesting’ is hardly in a position to be calling anyone else ‘thick.’

22. John Joyce - January 12, 2013
eamonncork - January 12, 2013
RosencrantzisDead - January 12, 2013

The Examiner article above links to an article by Caroline O’Doherty where she asks: who really won in the case between Kevin Barrington and Declan Ganley?

The answer is: the legal profession

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

That Caroline O’Doherty article is spot on, but it makes the following point:

“Most reputable websites will have terms and conditions if there are any third party posters, requiring them not to post offensive or abusive remarks, and those that want to maintain their reputation and credibility will generally act quite quickly.”

That’s the key issue. There’s fairly tight moderation on here and where a comment is made that could potentially infringe on that sort of area we pull it generally.

I doubt there’s a single post on the site that could be regarded as libellous or defamatory and as for comments we’ll pull them immediately if we feel there’s a potential for defamation.

Oddly though, and JJ this might interest you in particular, some others who have commented have on occasion shown no hesitation in calling third parties one epithet or another in general discourse. And it’s amazing, when they were called on it (and when a third party actually arrived to interact) who did those doing the epithet throwing give out about, why me! Because I had the temerity to say that wasn’t a proper way to interact. But I guess because its me and the CLR all the present concern didn’t apply.

Or is this simply a particularly blatant example of concern trolling? Why yes, yes it is.

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

He only does it to annoy because he knows it teases.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

True that EC.

Actually, here’s another example for JJ from the not too distant past. Someone from a private sector representative body came on to the CLR on foot of a post I had put up. And you’ll never believe it, but some people took it upon themselves in comments to attack that person again using fairly strong language. When I took exception to that again it was me that was turned on, and I was even accused of sucking up to the orthodoxy and wanting their respect or some such shite. Hilarious isn’t it, and yet, and yet, those doing the attacks sure weren’t that bothered about my welfare then (or my house – shared ownership with DCC, not sure how that works out in these cases).

What the word for the that? Tip of my tongue, starts with an ‘h’… yeah, I know the one. Second letter is ‘y’.

It’ll come to me… I’m sure.

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

I suppose it’s not an opportune time for me to excoriate you on your lukewarm attempts to defend the NWOBHM against attacks earlier in the year, then?

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

Ouch, must have been going through my latest goth revival phase then… :)

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

Not till the last member of Fields of the Nephilim is strangled with the entrails of Wayne Hussey . . . (though actually they’ve probably done that on stage already).

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

Have to be honesrt, I like goth, though it’s pretty absurd. But Mish or Fields, always the latter, ludicrous though they were.

23. irishelectionliterature - January 15, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,259 other followers

%d bloggers like this: