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Political statement adopted by the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland, 26 June 2010 June 29, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, European Politics, Irish Politics, Northern Ireland, The Left.


The recent publication of the report of the Saville Inquiry is to be welcomed. It is a repudiation of the two attempts at a cover-up by the Widgery and Whitelaw Inquiries.
The British establishment has been forced to acknowledge that all those murdered and wounded on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972, were completely innocent of any crime. Nevertheless it has attempted to place the blame on the actions of individual British soldiers on the day. It is clear that the orders for the actions of the British army came from the very heart of the British government and state. Their strategy was to break the spirit and smash the mobilisation of the people that the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association had successfully achieved in its struggle for civil rights in Northern Ireland.
As the CPI has been pointing out since the onset of the present economic crisis, working people are paying and will continue to pay a heavy price for the policies of both the Irish and the British governments of bailing out the banks and finance houses, giving priority to the needs of finance capital at the expense of workers.
The most recent emergency budget introduced by the British government is yet another example of making workers pay. The coalition government in London has proposed cutting £128 million (€156 million). This follows the £370 million (€451 million) in cuts agreed by the Northern Ireland Assembly last September.
These savage cuts will bear heaviest on the poor, the unemployed, and those who rely on public services. They will result in significant jobs losses in the public sector and reduced public services and will lead to the further privatisation of existing public services.
It is against this backdrop that we must view the role and potential use of the draconian provisions of the Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests Bill. It is imperative that this legislation be defeated, and it is necessary to mobilise public opinion to do so. What is needed is the enactment of a Bill of Rights, not more repressive measures.
Banks appear to be determined to further deepen the economic crisis and to expose Ireland to even greater debt by pursuing aggressive mortgage policies requiring an impossible increase in house prices over a number of years. Like NAMA, this is leaving Ireland in a position of extreme vulnerability, potentially threatening the solvency of the state itself.
The recent publication in the Republic of two reports on the banking crisis simply confirms what has been public knowledge. They confirm the influence and dominance of banking and speculative investment policies and to some degree the extent of the financialisation of the economy that has been a growing feature over the last two decades. These economic and social policies have dominated all other policy needs and requirements.
Unfortunately the reports, rather than being used to question the basis and direction of the economy, are being used for meaningless party political point-scoring by the egos that occupy Dáil Éireann.
The Regling-Watson Report reveals the effects and the restrictions on possible economic and fiscal policies of the Republic’s adoption of the euro. The abandoning of fiscal controls to the European Central Bank resulted in policies being determined by the major economic powers and by the European finance and banking monopolies.
What is increasingly clear to any objective observer of the policies now being perused is that the crisis can only deepen. The policies now being imposed by the EU Commission, not just in Ireland but in other EU member-states, will only lead to further savage cuts and reduced public spending and will drive millions into poverty. They will only further damage the real economy.
There are no solutions that the EU Commission will consider that would shift the impact of the crisis onto the backs of those who caused it.
The labour movement has to be won away from the belief that solutions can come from the Irish or British governments or from the European Union. The two failed economic entities are being exposed daily, and this process can only increase over the coming months and years. The lasting needs of the people, north and south, can be met only in the process of building an all-Ireland economy, with the maximum democratic contribution from and control by working people.
Mobilising the people back onto the streets is what is now needed, north and south, if working people are to defend their wages, their terms and conditions, and the services the public depend on, to stop the destruction of public services, and to prevent mass emigration. Now is the time to call for the repudiation of the national debt. This debt belongs to the bankers, not to working people.
The selfless and courageous actions of the Irish and other international volunteers in the Freedom Flotilla in breaking the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza, in particular those who were murdered in cold blood by the Israeli army, stand in stark contrast to the policies of the European Union and the United States, which have encouraged the aggressive policies and actions being pursued by the Israeli regime.
The opportunist, sectarian and divisive actions by elements of the pseudo-left in relation to the recent mobilisation in solidarity with the freedom flotilla actively play into the hands of the forces they claim to oppose.
What is needed is full support by all democratic forces in Ireland in uniting behind the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Trade Union Friends of Palestine to build on the present momentum and push for the complete economic, academic and cultural boycott of Israel.


1. Jim Monaghan - June 29, 2010

“The opportunist, sectarian and divisive actions by elements of the pseudo-left in relation to the recent mobilisation in solidarity with the freedom flotilla actively play into the hands of the forces they claim to oppose.”
And who pray tell are the pseudo left.


Mark P - June 29, 2010

It’s a pretty bizarre ending to that statement alright. A cryptic swipe at unnamed “pseudo-lefts” and an insinuation that non only are they not really on the left but that their “claims” to oppose Israel’s occupation of Palestine aren’t sincere.

My guess is that they are talking about the SWP by the way. And by extention the Irish Anti-War Movement, which organised a rally or two in the wake of the flotilla massacre.


Dr. X - June 29, 2010

Probably. But the thing is, I don’t remember even the SWs getting up to much codology in the wake of the Marmara incident. . .

Maybe they just threw it in on general principles, assuming that there must be bad behaviour by the Trots because there always is bad behaviour by same?

Careful with that axe, Eugene.


2. HAL - June 29, 2010

Have to agree with the CP on this one, the SWP hogged the limelight at a time when the IPSC should have been aided.The IPSC should have chaired the protests and been seen as the organisers.The SWP seem to jump in and lay claim to every protest and apart from anything else its getting boring.


Dr. X - June 29, 2010

One thing I noticed at the O’Connell street demo is that the age profile of the SWP is much older than I remember it being in the old days. Presumably the supply of young brains to wash has dried up, and in a few years nature will take its course, and we won’t have the SWP to kick around anymore.


Mark P - June 29, 2010

The age profile of the SWP is indeed a lot higher. That’s because they don’t have strong student groups anymore, and of course because their “community” turn isn’t something that it is likely to attract swathes of young people very easily.

They were shrinking for a long time, but they seem to have stabilised at a smaller size more recently. They do have newish recruits around, they just tend to join up at an older age than the students of old. And anway, even if they ceased recruiting entirely they have enough “lifers” to be around for another twenty or thirty years of natural attrition. Look at Socialist Democracy or the Communist Party.


ejh - June 30, 2010

Have you seen the age profile of the left in general though? I have a joke about how when I first got involved in politics I was one of the youngest people at the meetings I went to, and now, thirty years later….


Mark P - June 30, 2010

I take your point, but it varies a lot from group to group.

The SWP used to be known for the youth of many of their members relative to the rest of the Irish left. Nowadays they are not, while if anything the WSM and Socialist Party age profiles have got a bit younger than they were some years ago (both groups have more students basically).

Even still the SWP may not be a notably youthful group anymore, but they are by no means an elderly group by the standards of the Irish left. They must look like kids to the average member of the Workers Party or Socialist Democracy and like grandkids to the average member of the CPI! The SWP are still recruiting some people, they just aren’t recruiting them as teenagers or in their early twenties anymore, a change which is reasonably easily explained by the change in the focus of their work.

A bit depressingly, the indepedent left in Dublin seems to be knocking on a bit too. I was at a reasonably sizeable meeting of the Campaign for an Independent Left a couple of years ago and the only people under 35 in the room were from the SP or SWP. I knew pretty much every face in the room and most had been around the left for a couple of decades plus.


Mark P - June 29, 2010

I am no great fan of the IAWM and indeed ceased being a member of that organisation some years ago, but I really think that this is a little unreasonable (although more unreasonable in the “pseudo-lefts” language of the CP than in your comment).

The IAWM has been calling events about Palestine for years now under its own name. These included some of the big anti-war marches which were at least officially also about Palestine in some cases, but also include events soley about that part of the world. They didn’t just barge in out of nowhere when the massacre took place.

Just as the IAWM has no automatic monopoly on anti-war in Iraq activities, if you want to argue that all events to do with Palestine should be called under the auspices of the IPSC you have to make a case for it. You can’t just declare that one organisation has complete ownership of the issue without convincing people of the advantages of it, and you certainly can’t do it by abusing those who disagree as the CP seem to think you can.

I can certainly think of reasons that could be put forward why everyone should unite under the IPSC banner on this issue, by the way. As far as I can tell the IPSC and IAWM were putting out basically identical views on the issue, so a lack of coordination seems silly.


3. Budapestkick - June 29, 2010

Heh, maybe but I think they’ll be around for a while. I suppose we can complain about the Sparts or something as they move towards a mass movement.


4. Jim Monaghan - June 30, 2010

While I admire the IPSC and would support it I don’t think anyone has a monopoly. The Anti Apartheid movement was controlled by the ANC/CPUSA and excluded others. There was the dreadful affair over I think Kitson whose kids supported an ultraleft group and he was asked to denounce them. This was not right. The Palestinians are very divided and support groups will tend to reflect this. There is room for diversity and complementary supportive actions.
There are many groups and fronts doing good work. I would like to see more cooperation but I distrust the idea of a single command. Right I would have some ideas about the type of activities which are appropriate at this moment but that is a separate debate.


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