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From the Counter Summit… February 19, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics, The Left.
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...here’s an interesting blog post… from Garrett Mullan.

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1. Ceannaire - February 19, 2013

Accurate account. Also notable was how the (unsurprising) tension between the SP and SWP played itself out at the Anti-Austerity Debate. After Joe Higgins’ speech in which he defended the use of the word “socialism” contrary to what “some people” (I wonder who)suggest, Boyd-Barrett pointedly emphasised that what “we call” socialism isn’t what everyone calls it, something to be respected.

That was just the warm-up. During question time, Kieran Allen condemned the Socialist Party’s withdrawal from the ULA; Joe Higgins insinuated the SWP was allied to “capitalist forces” and when Ruth Coppinger wrapped the question time up she was heckled by (I think) SWPers.

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LD - February 19, 2013

No, you’ve got it all wrong. The debate was actually quite fraternal, even between the Socialist Party and the SWP. Allen said he thought the Socialist Party’s decision re the ULA was wrong because he thinks such a group is needed, he didn’t condemn anything. Joe Higgins’ didn’t insinuate anything about the SWP, but did address the political connection between the ULA, Joan and Clare more so than the SWP, with capitalist forces. Ruth was heckled, but not by SWP members.

Alongside the use of the word, Joe also defended the idea of socialism, i.e. a break from the capitalist system to one based on the common ownership and control of the wealth and resources in society for the benefit of all, and a democratic struggle to achieve that.

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Ceannaire - February 20, 2013

The debate was superficially polite, by no stretch of the imagination “fraternal”. I’m not going to debate the difference between describing something as wrong and condemning it. As it was the SWP/PBPA that was the force within the ULA that was more willing to compromise with “capitalist forces”, they were tainted by extension. Yes, I wasn’t sure she was heckled by SWPers, an ambiguity I hinted at in my original post. I’m grateful for the clarification.

One thing I didn’t mention in my original post was how RBB in his speech pointedly empahasised how there could be a “left-wing” government (with Labour and Sinn Féin) which the PBPA might be willing to support, something I interpreted as throwing down the gauntlet to the SP, which would normally take a more hardline approach to coaltion with capitalist parties, etc., although of course I could be reading too much into that.

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2. King Alpha Plan - February 19, 2013

Reports point to the event being a rather sad gathering which wasted a good speakers list.

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Mark P - February 19, 2013

If you are going to troll like that, KAP, it would probably be more effective if you claimed to have been there rather than revealing that you weren’t.

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3. doctorfive - March 1, 2013

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