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SF and a left alliance? January 31, 2015

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

From SF…

Kearney welcomes union chief’s support for agreed platform

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney has welcomed the public support of SIPTU President Jack O’Connor for developing an agreed platform among the left.

Jack O’Connor is to set out his position in a speech this morning at Glasnevin to commemorate Jim Larkin.

Sinn Féin’s South Antrim candidate in this year’s Westminster election said:

“Sinn Féin called this week, to begin formal discussions between ourselves, progressive independents, the trades union movement, grass roots community organisations, and others on the left in Ireland, north and south.

“Therefore SIPTU President Jack O’Connor’s public support for developing an agreed platform among the left is to be welcomed.

And more at the link…

This on foot of the news today:

Mr O’Connor called on social democrats, left-wing republicans and independent socialists to join together on a common platform with the aim of winning the next general election and establishing the country’s first left-of-centre government.


1. Mark P - January 31, 2015

If there’s one thing that screams “left wing” to us all, it’s the approval of Jack O’Connor.


2. Alibaba - January 31, 2015

Jack O’Connor also argued that the trade union movement was “back on the offensive”. Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

Knowing that his beloved Labour Party is facing a flogging, he is out to save it by any means necessary. Electoral challenges by the trade union community (and maybe even some officials) is the logical thing to do, especially when the likes of Shane Ross seemed to be ahead of the curve already with his ‘Alliance’.

Where is the alternative political framework where we can campaign together and discuss openly our different politics, taking decisions by democratic votes, against accountable elected decision-making bodies? It doesn’t exist. Why is there no framework currently to enable working with other left forces and individuals, trade union and community groups, as well as TDs and councillors who take a consistent stance against austerity?

AAA, PBP and other left organisations have extremely hard working, talented, principled supporters and public reps. No matter. It is their Our Way or No Way approach and by the way Join Us First that will leave them paddling the boat on their own. And probably to no great effect. Come protest, come discuss, come leaflet and recruit/recruit/recruit actions (and non-action on elementary left unity) has consequences.


Mark P - January 31, 2015

Who bears the most responsibility for the absence of a mass left wing force in Ireland: those who spend their time trying to build such a force? Or those who spend their time moaning about the absence of one and the failings of those who try?


Bertie Ahern - January 31, 2015

Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity. I don’t know how people who engage in that don’t commit suicide because frankly the only thing that motivates me is being able to actively change something.


que - January 31, 2015

It remains on the shoulders of those trying to build the left alternative.

Those criticizing have no bearing on this.

The left must accept the responsibility for the non existence of a mass left wing force. Assigning blame to anyone else is to blame them for achieving what they desire.

The left shouldn’t be despondent about the non existence of a large movement but it can’t blame its opponents for that.

Its on our shoulders not theirs.


Mark P - January 31, 2015

I’m not blaming those outside the left. I’m saying that the semi-professional pissers and moaners on the left make a rather less useful contribution to improving the situation than the people on the left they piss and moan about.


Alibaba - January 31, 2015

In different circumstances, Mark P could have been a diplomat.

Seriously though, I present a different point of view, as is my right. The SP, SWP and others seek to have mass party fronts. The ULA could have provided an alternative. It was scuppered. It’s a problem when we have activists and politicians of great personal merits and policy beliefs, but when they don’t have great politics and squander vital opportunities, it needs saying, if only to draw the balance sheet. If you start from the point of view that unity is not possible or a priority, you will never get it. There has been a marked shift to the left by workers. If you seek to denigrate those who differ with you, shit happens. It is possible and vital to work together in a more structured way towards unity, even if we differ in our politics.


Jolly Red Giant - February 1, 2015

The ULA didn’t and couldn’t provide an alternative because nobody joined it outside of the existing left. You can’t build an alternative unless it can sow roots in working class communities.

Unity for the sake of unity is a recipe for sectarian squabbling. United action on the basis of struggle can lead to the development of an alternative. The potential exists for something to emerge but there is still a lot of work to do on the ground before it could become a concrete reality.

Liked by 1 person

3. Tawdy - January 31, 2015

Leading from behind opens up so many cul de sacs to leave us all perplexed and bewildered.

You’re too late Jack me boy!

Liked by 1 person

que - January 31, 2015



Alibaba - February 1, 2015

+ 2


4. Mark P - February 1, 2015

The Sunday Times today had clearly been fed this stuff as a story. There’s a front page article pushing the idea that there’s going to be a Sinn Fein led alliance for the next election, including various independents. The interesting parts were:

A) The union bureaucrats on the unelected right2water steering committee were giving it the hard sell. It does after all fit with both the union bureaucracy’s reorientation towards Sinn Fein with the impending demise of Labour and with any desire these boys have to launch political careers of their own.

B) Jack O’Connor’s speech during his ritual desecration of Jim Larkin’s grave was quoted, but I get the impression that O’Connor is sticking his oar in to push for a slightly more right wing orientation than the right2water end of the bureaucracy. ie even broader, including Labour etc. The inter-bureaucrat politics are always worth watching.

C) Mary Lou McDonald was also pushing hard for something, but she absolutely ruled out any new party of a “SYRIZA” type. Sinn Fein is the party, remains the party and always will be the party, and any useful idiots or careerist elements who hitch their fortunes to SF had best remember it.

D) Richard Boyd Barrett was unprincipled, even by his standards, in his response, talking up the possibility of some kind of alliance and refusing to rule out falling in behind Sinn Fein. Instead he came out with some meaningless guff about Sinn Fein having to decide if they are a party of the left. Again, reading between the lines, it seems he’d prefer a slightly different type of alliance, an inch to the left of that being pushed by the right2water union bureaucrats rather than an inch to the right as preferred by O’Connor. But the interesting part isn’t his preferences, it’s what he’s apparently willing to countenance.


Mark P - February 1, 2015

There’s no shortage of anglers dipping their lines into the pool of independent politicians and hoping to haul a few on shore: Creighton, Ross and Fitzmaurice, People Before Profit, now Sinn Fein and two factions of union bureaucrats.


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SF and a left alliance? | The Cedar Lounge Revolution


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