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One step forward. One step back. January 24, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left, Uncategorized.

Here’s an interesting thread on Political World about the travails of the ULA and some thoughts of Paddy Healy on same. I wouldn’t agree with everything PH says, but there’s some useful stuff in there. Anyway, more on this next week. Though has anyone read the latest issue of the Phoenix which also references some of these issues?

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1. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 24, 2013

Healy makes some interesting points. Only slightly undermined for me by the fact that he seems to be the only WUAG member who doesn’t live in south Tipperary- but appears to be very excercised about getting the ULA involved in the six counties; that he takes the high moral ground aboyt Wallace, but the WUAG didn’t want to call for higher corporation tax; that he himself was the leader of a Trot group, the LWR, that made the SP and SWP look like paragons of good sense and virtue; that his organisation was just as focused on international currents as they are, but he makes petty points about ‘London’ presumably to curry favour with the likes of the The Phoenix. (Whose editor was also a ‘Trot’ and a fulltimer for one of those ‘London’ groups.)

2. que - January 24, 2013

“The rally was well attended by approximately 450 people of whom at least 200 were political activists. Speaking queues were hogged by SP and SWP activists. The SP advocated mass rallies “of at least 30,000” and unofficial workplace walk-outs. Not to be outdone, the SWP advocated “shutting down the country” through unofficial strikes”

As I said when you read their missives you can see the hyping, the dislocation from reality, which leads parties with about what 150-200 people each think they can bring either 30k onto the streets or shut the country down.

Very recently there was thread on which Clare Daly was getting stick for being too focused on particular issues and not pushing for a socialist revolution. Some of those then proceeded to argue in detail with an other about that revolution and liberally used the word Spartoid. Does Clare Daly achieve more talking on particular issues or does calling people spartoid, a term requiring some knowledge of obscure political terminology work better. Nice to see the debate on PolFor. entering into the obscure realm.

The other stand out from that thread is Healy’s account of the complexity of the political machinations.Talk about over the top. Are these parties too factional to be able to step away from such pointless local committee intrigues – intrigues for what purpose?

revolutionaryprogramme - January 25, 2013

The use of Spartoid is regularly used against me (as it was in this case) when whoever I am having a discussion with doesn’t want to deal with the substantive political points I am making…

Jolly Red Giant - January 25, 2013

The term spartoid is used referring to you when you come up with obscure sectarian nonsense to try and beat people with a big stick because they don’t conform to the wierd and wonderful world you frequent.

WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2013

JRG, even to phrase it the way you do is to underscore how it is a term of political abuse in much the same way as other terms that we need hardly mention are… and ‘obscure sectarian nonsense’ is an entirely subjective definition. I would be the first to step in if someone characterised your comments in the same sort of light (and by the way I did step in on your behalf at the weekend and rightly so when you were subject to disgraceful behaviours by another), and revolutionary programme while holding his views tenaciously is at all times courteous and measured. Anyhow bottom line is that ‘spartoid’ is not a term that is appropriate on this site.

Jolly Red Giant - January 25, 2013

Is ‘spart splitter’ okay then – there has to be a term i could use to describe someone from one of the myriad of splits from the original Sparts.

revolutionaryprogramme - January 25, 2013

I think WBS’s concern is not over the exact phrase used but about the nature of the use of such phrases in general, as they tend to be just used as mud-slinging insults rather than useful contributions to a substantive political discussion.

3. Jolly Red Giant - January 25, 2013

So are you proud of your spartoid heritage or not?

WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2013

Spartacist is the obvious term to use JRG and let’s hear no more about it.

revolutionaryprogramme - January 25, 2013

The answer to that is fairly clear as anyone reading my blog can quickly work out.

I stand on the general basis of the programme of the IBT as put forward in their journal 1917 and in specific publications. I have attempted to apply that programmatic methodology in the Irish context to the best of my ability, both in terms of position paper type documents and in my active participation in the workers’ movement, As far as I am aware the IBT does not consider me to have broken with their programme and political method.

I do not stand on all the political positions of the Spartacist League and my general understanding of them as a quasi-cult would be in line with that articulated by the IBT in their documents on the degeneration of the Spartacists,

WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2013

I didn’t mean to imply that you were a Sparticist, but that that might be a part of your heritage and one that is a lot less offensive than the other terms being bandied about in relation to it. But of course basically it’s up to you to use what ever term you feel appropriate and for others to offer that courtesy to you.

revolutionaryprogramme - January 25, 2013

I actually don’t mind whatever term people want to use to describe the political tradition I come from as long as it is done in a serious way that addresses the substance of the issues being discussed.

WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2013

Well that’s it precisely. You’re never less than serious about yours and indeed others politics even whereyou disagree. And it’s reasonable for people to reciprocate.

4. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 25, 2013

Healy is being pretty disengenious, but the response of the SP people here doesn’t fill me with hope. Essentially its back to normal on the Irish far-left then- two small groups desperate to out recruit each other, judging success by whatever stunt puts them at a higher level than their rivals. Dozens of militants demorialised and fucked off. Ho hum.

What did The Phoenix say, by the way?

WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2013

It was a bit odd in a way. It went strong on the Buswell’s Four stuff on CD, JC, MW, LMF and also threw, I think Maureen O’S’s name into the mix. I think that’s all a stretch. I can’t see them becoming a functioning unit like that. CD and JC, surely, but not the others.

One thing that amazes me about all this is why the departure before the locals? The ULA brand wasn’t entirely useless. Secondly, why do the parties seem so seemingly indifferent to potentially alienating the independents who while perhaps not huge in numbers do constitute a sort of political capital on the left.

revolutionaryprogramme - January 25, 2013

There are still discussion going on among the ULA non-aligned members and a real commitment to salvage something positive from the wreckage of the ULA.

It may be that the outcome of the current discussions results in something I may personally consider too reformist but it isn’t quite that we are going back to where things were before the ULA experiment, even if the SP & SWP might be thinking that is the case.

I am not sure how the WUAG will fit into that, it at all given they made no real attempt to engage with the ULA non-aligned while they were still in.

WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2013

That sounds more positive than I’d have expected. With a fair wind and with locals only a relatively short time away, water etc on the horizon there’s something to be done there.

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