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Workers’ Party Position on Right to Choose February 23, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.

A statement from the AAA-PBP misrepresents the WP’s long-held position on the right to choose, so this is being posted in order to help clarify what it is. The AAA-PBP statement contains in the following:

“Six parties have now committed to repealing the 8th in their election manifesto: AAA-PBP, Workers Party, Labour, Sinn Fein, Social Democrats, Green Party – this has never happened before and represents significant progress. However, apart from AAA-PBP, all of these parties either want to introduce restrictive legislation, or have not made their post-repeal position clear, and none of them support a woman’s right to choose.”

The Workers’ Party manifesto in fact contains the following on page 11

The Workers’ Party recognises that women have the right to control their own bodies, including their fertility, and to pursue all reproductive choices. This is fundamental to any reasonable concept of gender equality in order to achieve full political, social, and economic equality with men.

The Workers’ Party rejects the paternalistic attitude that regards women as second class citizens incapable of making their own decisions. The Workers’ Party supports a full programme of secular sex education for schools, free access to contraception, proper health and social care for pregnant women, the provision of appropriate free and quality child care facilities and adequate support for single and low income parents.

The Workers’ Party believes in a woman’s right to choose and supports the provision of free and safe abortion in Ireland which will include practical facilities to support women seeking an abortion and quality post-abortion care.

It’s a bit bizarre that the AAA-PBP can make this mistake.


1. botheredbarney - February 23, 2016

Could the trotskyist tradition of denigrating orthodox marxist positions have influenced this misrepresentation?


Ed - February 23, 2016

“Could the trotskyist tradition of denigrating orthodox marxist positions have influenced this misrepresentation?”

Trots and kettles spring to mind … comrades, take your pick and all that.


2. Garibaldy - February 23, 2016

Turns out the candidate named had herself previously said the WP was pro-choice, and Paul Murphy says it is going to be fixed


3. Jolly Red Giant - February 23, 2016

it was a mistake and it has been fixed.

A bit nonsensical that you post a thread on it Garibaldy.

Suggesting that the AAA-PBP have the time or inclination to ‘deliberately’ misrepresent the position of the WP on abortion is – nonsense.

Liked by 1 person

4. Garibaldy - February 23, 2016

Literally the only person on this site to use the word deliberately about this is you, so why have you put it in quotation marks?

I said it was a baffling mistake.

Straight in with two feet and missing the ball as usual.


Jolly Red Giant - February 24, 2016

WP members have been ‘whinging’ (my word) on facebook about the AAA/PBP ‘deliberately’ (their word) misrepresenting the WP’s position on abortion.

They were told it was a mistake and the mistake was corrected – just as I stated here.


Garibaldy - February 24, 2016

You mean the way I had called it a mistake in the original post and quoted Paul Murphy saying it was going to be corrected before you intervened?


WorldbyStorm - February 24, 2016

JRG it’s pretty poor to reference comments which may or may not have been made on FB by others not on here without at the least making it clear that that was what you were doing. Certainly any reasonable reading of your comments above was that you were implying someone here had used the term ‘deliberate’ and worse again that you were suggesting this was a matter that shouldn’t even be referenced on this site. It is difficult to believe you’d be anywhere near as casual – given how heated your response to this post is – if the situation was reversed and the WP had issued a press release similarly mistakenly omitting AAA.


Richard - February 25, 2016

The statement, both original and edited, is of course predictably arrogant – the usual Socialist Party/AAA attempt to prove that ‘we’re the only ones…’

The irony of being called a whinger by Jolly Red Giant though! Indeed, one can only imagine the blathering from JRG and his comrades if the WP had misrepresented the Socialist Party/AAA position and then airbrushed them from the statement completely. I can just hear them now banging on about the ‘Stalinist school of falsification’ and other such Trotskyist cliches.

Although, perhaps not, they seem to have dropped the Trotskyism these days.


Conor - February 25, 2016

Workers Party members would be wise to refrain from this embarrassingly petty faux-outrage about a typo, which was almost immediately corrected.

Two days on and you’re still whinging about it. Have you really nothing better to do? Or is this just a rare opportunity to try to score points that you can’t pass up?


WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2016

I think every party or independent leftist has the right to be clearly represented in its views – particularly when other left parties are the ones doing the representing. Given that my own position is one of support for left candidates from whatever quarter i would be outraged if the WP had misrepresented the AAA position or whoever, so its a bit more complex that the way you portray it. Also to judge from what Eilis Ryan says below it hasn’t been corrected as such. I genuinely think that – and I incorporate all parties and indos on the left of the LP/SD camps here- a more fraternal spirit and acknowledgement of each others legitimacy wouldn’t go amiss.


CMK - February 25, 2016

WbS, sorry, but you were fairly relaxed late last year when Brendan Ogle grossly and deliberately misrepresented and falsified the AAA’s stance on the infamous Right 2 Change ‘3 Principles’. The consensus on the CLR at the time was it was no big deal.

Now we see today Right 2 Change issuing sample ballot papers and voting suggestions for every constituency which exclude all AAA and WP candidates. That is far, far, far more egregious than an oversight on a Facebook post.

It was an unfortunate error at the end stage of an election campaign where most political activist are nearing exhaustion.


WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2016

I’m not burning the midnight oil on this one CMK, trust me. Still you could read this thread from last year and see why the two situations are simply not analogous.


In that case Ogle – as I said at the time – shabbily paraphrased a response. I also noted I was deeply wary of what R2C was evolving into and I’ve no reason to resile from that position now. It was the wrong thing to do but that said the essential meaning came across which was that AAA wasn’t keen to offer support and wasn’t getting involved – rightly by the way in my view (a meaning that remains politically important to this day in relation to the different orientations of individual parts of AAA-PBP to others, at least in their public statements). Oh and by the way he actually misrepresented the WPs position entirely.

In this instance a completely incorrect statement that ignored another left political party or implied that it held a position it didn’t was made that was replaced by a mostly incorrect one.

BTW, I completely agree it was a mistake, no disagreement there.


5. eilisryan - February 24, 2016

It hasn’t in fact been corrected. The post was edited to remove any reference to WP and limit the post to “Dáil parties,” – which does not in any way clear up the earlier misrepresentation of WP position. It also failed to remove the Greens from the parties mentioned who are not a “Dáil party” either.

There are two candidates running in Dublin Central with fully pro choice positions and literature. For one to in any way insinuate they have some special position worthy of a vote over the other is misleading, plain and simple.


eilisryan - February 24, 2016

As far as I know, Cieran Perry is also pro-choice, always been good on it


WorldbyStorm - February 24, 2016

I understand that is the case too.


6. Joe - February 25, 2016

Must check my litreacha um thoghcháin. Ryan WP and O’Dwyer AAAPbP both explicit on their pro-choice views in their letters. Don’t think Perry mentions it. What about O’Sullivan? Anyone know if she has a public view on the matter?

There’s definitely a strong constituency of young people (women more than men?)who are pro-choice and for whom this is a defining issue for their vote.


sonofstan - February 25, 2016

My young wan has surveyed the candidates in DC and AFAIK, the response from M O’S was a bit wooly. The Green lad with the goatee was incomprehensible.


Joe - February 25, 2016

What did Perry say?


sonofstan - February 25, 2016

Not sure if she got a response – I’ll ask.


Joe - February 25, 2016

There is, I think, a sort of line among some working class socialist activists that kind of says that Right to Choose isn’t a core issue for them. That it doesn’t come up as an issue in working class communities and thus isn’t something they highlight. I think I remember Tony Gregory saying something along those lines once. Wouldn’t be surprised if Cieran Perry had a similar view.
Time moves on though so that could have changed. And I’m just speculating, I should really read the man’s literature shouldn’t I?


7. JM - February 25, 2016

Almost 25 years ago I stood on the streets of this City campaigning alongside Cieran Perry on the Abortion Rights issue . It was a lot harder to promote that position in those days then it is now. Just under a quarter of a century later Cieran still has the same stance and has never shied away from this, but based on his years of experience as a community & political activist ,his time as a Councillor (and being in constant contact with his constituents) he and his team have obviously decided it is not the leading issue of this election campaign . His commitment to repealing the 8th is included on his election literature.


WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2016

Yeah, that’s what I thought too (and indeed said under comment 5).


8.  ആനന്ദി ഗോപാല്‍: വര്‍ണവിവേചനത്തിനിരയായ സവര്‍ണ വനിത – പൂജാ താക്കര്‍ പരിഭാഷ: കെ രമ – ഇടനേരം idaneram - March 17, 2016

[…] Workers’ Party Position on Right to Choose […]


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