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The February issue of Socialist Voice February 1, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.



Layout 1Socialist Voice can now viewed online:  http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/index.html


Expressway to privatisation
Jimmy Doran

It looks like the Government have their greedy sights on Bus Éireann and the rural public transport system. They have been doing a very good job in their media over the last couple of years, demonising Bus Éireann as a hopeless case and a huge financial burden on the taxpayer.
They fail to point out that the financial problems are a direct result of policy decisions to starve Bus Éireann of the financial support needed to provide decent public transport to our citizens living in rural Ireland.

RTE and alternative facts
Alan Hanlon

Immediately after his inauguration as president of the United States, Donald Trump claimed there were more people at his inauguration than at any previous inauguration. All the evidence contradicted this.
His spokesperson described this Trumpism as an “alternative fact”; the American media described it as a falsehood.
An “alternative fact” is a falsehood. Channel 4 simply called it a lie. RTE, however, described it as “economical with the truth.”

A planned health crisis
Eoghan M. Ó Néill


The headlines scream that once again Ireland is hit by an annual health crisis—that each winter, just around Christmas time, we are hit by a crisis in our A&E departments brought on by elderly bed-blockers and those who refuse to take the flu vaccination.
This year a record 540 people were on trolleys. The Government and the private sector came to the rescue by providing private beds, paid for from the public purse.

A critical assessment of Soviet agriculture
Eoghan O’Neill
The Soviet Union has many critics—some with just cause, but most of them ideologically driven to oppose the very nature of the system, despite the unprecedented scale of development that unfolded during the seventy-five years of its existence.
In this article I specifically deal with agriculture, the growth rates from 1909 to 1975, and finally the most controversial period of the first five-year plan, which began the drive for collectivisation.

Sinn Féin faces a daunting task
Tommy McKearney
Sinn Féin’s newly appointed leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill, faces a daunting task as she begins to guide her party during a period of uncertainty in the six counties.
Notwithstanding the fact that she is a politician of considerable experience and ability as outgoing minister for health in the Stormont Assembly, she faces several difficult challenges. Not only has she a short preparatory period before leading the party into an election in early March but she will be faced immediately thereafter with what are bound to be fraught negotiations with the DUP over the establishment of an Executive—and that may prove to be the easy bit.

The left must reclaim national sovereignty
Graham Harrington

With the rise of the far right in Europe and elsewhere, the left faces a stiff challenge. The former base areas of Labour and Socialist Parties are now seeing increased votes for parties such as the National Front in France, UKIP in Britain, Golden Dawn in Greece, and the Austrian Freedom Party. The election of Donald Trump in the United States has also galvanised the far right.
It is clear that, despite the different environments in which far-right forces are emerging, there is a pattern. While the continuing crisis of capitalism plays a significant role, perhaps the main reason is the failure of the left to organise sufficiently to provide an alternative.

Mental health: Lessons from Cuba
David Hartery

When attempting to create a comparison between the Irish and Cuban health systems’ attitudes to the treatment of mental illness, it’s important to remember that there is a structural and a philosophical difference between the two that is more than just about how a communist and a neo-liberal system is funded.
In attempting to create a communist health system we must look at how Cuba categorises illness, and not fall victim to Cartesian notions of sickness, separating mind and body.

How do we see our history?
Seán Edwards

The little girl Mafalda is the creation of the Argentine cartoonist Quino (Joaquín Salvador Lavado) over fifty years ago. Mafalda, Susanita and their pals are noted for innocently raising serious questions, like this one.


Speaking bluntly
Gabriel Rosenstock introduces and translates a poem by Sukirtharani

The poem “I Speak Up Bluntly” was written in Tamil, one of the oldest literary languages in the world. Sukirtharani is a contemporary Dalit poet (the term that has replaced “Untouchable”).

Hard times
Jenny Farrell

Very few contemporary artists put working people and the unemployed, their raw treatment by society and their heroic attempts at fightback, centre stage as consistently as Ken Loach and Paul Laverty. Indeed there are few films—or art in general—in which working people can recognise themselves or their actual lives.


1. Jim Monaghan - February 2, 2017

It is sad that SV does not make a difference between the nationalism of oppressed countries and oppressor countries in its call for the Left to reassess its attitude to nationalism. I suppose when you are open to migrant controls, who knows.


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